The hubris of most politicians should come as no surprise to anyone who has delved even superficially into such matters. The latest example of the mind-set that proclaims the "superiority" of our elected officials to us common plebes was exhibited during the debates on eliminating the "marriage penalty" present in our federal income tax laws.
As currently established, a two-income married couple pays more in taxes on the federal level than the husband and wife would if they could file separately, as singles. To anyone with common sense, this disparity is a clear violation of the legal principle that laws should apply to everyone equally. Even if one believed in the validity of the income tax, this imbalance is too obvious to ignore.
But, of course, "equality" is one of those concepts that rises or falls in political favor depending upon the mood and intent of the politician proclaiming his support or opposition to the idea. Statists are gung-ho for "equality" when it comes to plans to redistribute income from those who earned (and own) it to those who did and do not. "Equality" in misery may not be the announced goal of such collectivists, but that is the practical result of such policies.
The radical notion that laws should cover everyone equally, of course, draws gasps of horror from these same champions of "equality." Their favorite groups, minorities, and supporters are, in the vernacular of Orwell's _Animal Farm_, more equal than other individuals and organizations who oppose legalized theft.
Egregious and overweening condescension was especially evident when our president declared that any budget "surplus" must be kept in Washington, D.C., lest we ignorant, foolish, and dependent dolts spend our own money "unwisely."
Such a patronizing attitude is splashed across the airways and newspapers again as the statists chant one of their favorite and most precious mantras: "Eliminating the marriage penalty will cost the government too much!" they cry plaintively. "How can we possibly pay for such a risky tax cut? It's far too expensive! No. We must guard against any such changes that will endanger our programs. Besides, this tax cut will primarily benefit the rich! We can't permit that."
("Benefiting the rich" is another handy slogan they pull from their bag of dirty rhetorical tricks.)
Reduce income taxes, even a tiny percentage, for the five percent of the populace that pays half the income taxes?
"Oh, no! Mustn't reduce the two trillion dollars we plan to seize from you this year."
Roll back the eighteen cents federal gas tax (that contributes to the nearly forty cents in taxes added to the cost of each gallon of gas)?
"Are you crazy? That might prevent us from accessing all those highway pork projects we rely upon to buy the votes of the folks back home."
Kill the inheritance (or death) tax so parents can afford to pass along family businesses to their offspring?
"Unfair! That tax affects only a small percentage of the population, and the greedy rich part, at that." (Or the pols pass a cosmetically appealing bill but alter the basis for figuring taxes so the _inheritors_ must pay at such an exorbitant rate if they sell that any benefit of ending the inheritance tax is lost.)
Leave the Internet free of sales taxes (as are catalog sales for businesses with no physical presence in a state)?
"We'll let you slide by on that one for a time, but we reserve the right -- and the power -- to slap on such a tax whenever we damned well please." (Or when the state governors and owners of brick-and-mortar businesses whine long and loudly enough.)
Abolish "sin" taxes on such politically unpopular products as cigarettes and alcohol?
"Nonsense! How can we fund all those anti-smoking media campaigns if we don't collect a heavy bounty from the sale of cigarettes?"
Lower property taxes and surcharges so more individuals can actually afford to purchase their own homes?
"What about the children? Oh, woe to the children if we cut the property taxes that support all those deserving students and their new schools and the building expansions and the new programs and... How _dare_ you endorse such a heartless proposal?" (No matter that large numbers of people _have_ no children and are gouged to subsidize a system guaranteed to subvert liberty in this country. And for those silly parents who pay not only property taxes to finance _government_ schools but also hefty tuitions to pay for _private_ schools so their wee ones can escape the state-run propaganda mills... Well, they simply deserve what they get.)
The statists, of course, never question the cost of _government_ expenditures. Too much is never enough. Even with a federal budget of two _trillion_ dollars (let alone the dollars confiscated by state, county, and city governments) and a projected ten-year "surplus" of _another_ trillion or two (the numbers change depending on the proximity of the next election), the sharks in Congress and the White House cannot satisfy their voracious hunger.
Prescription drug welfare?
"Yeah. Of course. We _must_ do that. The people _need_ the help. They _want_ the help. Those dirty, price-gouging pharmaceutical companies!" ("Price gouging": another perennially favorite phrase. Plus, let us avert our eyes to the six-hundred-plus-million dollars each new approved drug costs, the millions spend on drug research that crashes into a dead end, the endless FDA regulatory maze that not only jacks up costs but kills millions of sick citizens who are deprived of various new drugs and devices.)
More teachers. Fancier schools. Expanded Medicare. A new retirement program. Increased student loans. Boosted mass transit programs. Widened troop deployments around the world. Extended Drug War.
On and on and on. Damn the costs! Full government ahead!
All this is based on a lie, of course, a massive falsehood that too many citizens implicitly and automatically accept, even if grudgingly. It's a myth that needs to be refuted and dispelled at any and all opportunities. The _truth_ is:
Tax cuts of _any_ size -- indeed, even the complete eradication of _all_ taxes -- would cost the government...
ZERO! Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
The answer appears so obvious one gapes in wonder that _any_one could seriously not acknowledge the validity of this statement.
The government owns _no_ money (in the proper sense of that concept, i.e., "money" as a convenient substitute for produced goods and services; a device that is used to facilitate economic exchanges). The State makes nothing. It earns nothing. The only wealth the State has in today's corrupt world is that which it _seizes_ from the productive members of society. Some small portion of that stolen wealth is redistributed by the State (after skimming a substantial amount for itself) to various citizens regardless of what percentage of that money they might have actually created.
To say a tax cut is "too expensive" or "costs too much," to worry how the government will "pay" for a reduction in tax revenues is implicitly to argue that _all_ income in this country belongs to the State. (The politicians, of course, accept this corrupt conceit completely. How many citizens today remember that the top income tax rate in this country was once _ninety-percent_?)
To operate from such an assumption would be to say that a robber has a valid point should he complain that his victim managed to wrestle away a bill or two from the criminal's hands. That the victim "cost" the crook too much by retrieving some of his own money. That for a court to demand the mugger give restitution to the bruised and rumpled sot lying senselessly upon the cold concrete would be "too expensive" for him to afford.
"How can I possibly pay my expenses," Mr. Thug might ask, "if you force me to return some of the wealth he voluntarily gave me?" ("Voluntary" in the same way that the income tax is "voluntary": your money or your life.)
But, of course, the political bandits have the game rigged. Not only are _they_ the perpetrators of the largest heist in history -- one that makes all the private crooks in history combined into pikers -- but _the very thieves extorting you_ are the ones who judge the "fairness" and "legality" of the entire operation; who decide how much of their loot you will be permitted to keep; and who determine what will happen to you should you object to their shakedown.
Less tax revenue translates into fewer government programs and that, of course, translates into less of what every statist values above all else: control. Control over other people.
Tax cuts are never too expensive. It is the government and its shills that are too expensive. It is sick and sad enough that they self-righteously steal our money.
What is even more infuriating, exasperating, and insulting is that the State is costing us not only our freedom but our very future. It is long past time for _us_ to cost the government its power.