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What About The Rights Of the Rich?

The health care debate that is winding its way through Congress is raising a number of interesting broad political discussions. I touched on some of them earlier today, as did Michael.

The Washington Post posed their concerns that targeting such a narrow segment of the economy (the rich) might dilute the wherewithal to pay down future deficits. Absent from the Post's manifestly faux concern about deficit spending is an examination of the liberty interests at work in this debate. Liberal activists and trial lawyers have a habit of demagoguing about liberty interests any time a particular class of individuals is singled out for "special treatment" by governing authorities. This approach fits neatly into their victimization theology and almost always passes under the radar of the activist media that enables them. Except when the victims are rich.

Ed Morrisey has done yeoman's work in breaking this hypocrisy (and the Washington Post's ridiculous reasoning) down to its elemental level:

This is part of the entire problem with the "progressive" tax system. It punishes people for success and is at its most basic a real consequence of a grievance mindset, in which life is a zero-sum game and winners "steal" from losers. As the economy itself has proven consistently, real wealth expands and standards of living increase for the entire population when capital is allowed to work in the markets. Soaking the rich reduces that capital and stymies the expansion of wealth and creation of new jobs. Government does not create wealth; it eats it...

....Nowhere in the Democrats' plan do they explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay to reform the health-care system for 300 million Americans, nor does the Post explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay for the massive deficits created by Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama.

Regardless of the outcome of the ObamaCare debate, it would be a victory for proponents of private sector wealth creation if it focuses the national debate on where the money comes from and how it should be spent. This country requires a long discussion (once again) about who produces this wealth and the obligations of those producers to the rest of society. One of the reasons for the ridicule and opprobrium directed toward the Tea Party movement (and the denigrating comments about John Galt) in the current political dialogue is that the opponents (i.e. appropriators) of private wealth creation are terrified that most middle class voters may find themselves someday to be another person's definition of "rich".



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Comments (15)

There is no way mathematica... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

There is no way mathematically that the 'rich' are going to subsidize Barry's Utopian dream. The One proclaims that he will not raise their taxes. If you believe that, you've had a frontal lobotomy. You can take every dime from the rich, it still won't pay for Barry's programs. Or should I say Pogroms? Barry is all about being 'fair'. To bad his idea of 'fair' doesn't include him sharing his wealth with his extended family members in Africa. Guess he figures they're someone else's problem.

Of course the level of inco... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Of course the level of income that defines who is considered 'rich' changes depending on the audience that a liberal is speaking to. That makes it easy to play class warfare games.

I'd imagine that some of Ba... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'd imagine that some of Barry's limousine liberal friends are going WTF! right about now when the read who is going to pay for health care.

This is part of the enti... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

This is part of the entire problem with the "progressive" tax system. It punishes people for success and is at its most basic a real consequence of a grievance mindset, in which life is a zero-sum game and winners "steal" from losers.

An amusing historical coincidence I just noticed: "progressive" taxes such as the income tax were developed, as a concept, by a political movement built out of miners, farmers, and other working-class people. These folks honestly believed (with some justification) that the uber-wealthy of their time built huge fortunes by means that were certainly immoral and should be illegal. The name of that movement? The Progressives!

"Nowhere in the Democrats' ... (Below threshold)
Bob:

"Nowhere in the Democrats' plan do they explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay to reform the health-care system for 300 million Americans, nor does the Post explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay for the massive deficits created by Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama."

The answer to this question is simple: Those who pay little or no taxes have many more votes than those producers who pay the vast majority of taxes. Democrats are for democracy, which means that the many non-productive and less productive can appropriate the earnings of the most productive. We have been headed down this path for a long time but Barry plans to really drown the rich in taxes, not just soak them. The economic consequences of harshly punishing the successful will predictably be disastrous but BHO will use economic problems as reasons for expanding government, just as he has successfully done in his first few months in office.

The problem with taxing the... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The problem with taxing the rich is what do you do when the rich run out of money to tax? They will either leave, or live on what they have already. Those who got used to living on what the government gave you will not have to do something to get their daily bread. Then we all become wage slaves. No hope for a better future. Which is why the communists such as Obama cannot and will not tell the truth about the agenda they intend to carry out.

One can look at it as "puni... (Below threshold)
Rance:

One can look at it as "punishing the rich", but there are other ways to look at it, too.

Since the rich get and use more of the benefits of the society, shouldn't they pay more for the generation and protection of those benefits?

If you don't like "punishin... (Below threshold)
Matt:

If you don't like "punishing" the rich, how about Fleecing the Rich, to the point of killing the sheep. I strongly doube that Barry's limousine liberal freinds will be bothered much by this since they will find creative ways to avoid the taxes. That is how good CPA and Tax Attorneys make their fortunes. It is the little people (relative term, those making from about 250k to 500k annually) that will be hammered the hardest. The upper middle class that drives investments, new business developments, new job creation, new WEALTH creation will be devastated.

I would like to know how the rich get and use more of societies benefits? I don't know many rich that don't pay their own way. They don't qualify for free medical care, free food, free rent, free utilities, free education etc. They do pay a lot of taxes, give a lot to charities and local communities, employ a lot of people etc.

HughS,About your t... (Below threshold)
Matt:

HughS,

About your title, "What about the Rights of the Rich?"

The current administration, and their supporters truly don't give a damn about the Rights of anybody, let alone the rich.

To be fair Rance, everyone ... (Below threshold)
914:

To be fair Rance, everyone should pay an equal amount. if the rich get and use more benefits in this society, than I wish them and everyone else more prosperity and good health.

It's worth recalling tha... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

It's worth recalling that when the Founding Fathers led the American colonists in revolt against British oppression, they weren't rebelling against torture on the rack or being chained in galleys or having to let aristocrats deflower their daughters. They were rebelling against taxes. To them, having to pay duties they hadn't voted for themselves was a tyrannical taking of property--theft--and, in true Lockean fashion, they concluded that since government exists to protect life, liberty, and property, a regime that does the opposite renders itself illegitimate. What would they make, then, of today's New York City, where 1.2 percent of the taxpayers--40,000 households--pay 50 percent of the income taxes, and half the households pay no income tax at all? If the tax code ensures that those who pay the bulk of the taxes are always a minority of those who vote for the legislature that imposes the taxes, isn't that taxation without representation? Isn't it also the tyranny of the majority that the Founders tried to prevent?

Myron Magnet, New York City Journal

Its easier to pick the pock... (Below threshold)
wildman:

Its easier to pick the pockets of the rich and continue with the graft, nepotism, fraud and insider deals that the govermrnt has than to provide efficient services. Government no longer serves the public, it serves government.

Ala Dicky Gephart: "Winners... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

Ala Dicky Gephart: "Winners of life's lottery"
SHOULD pay more. But the word "more" is a
relative concept, with NO defined upper limit.
Democrats know this. It's in their genes.

Who does the work? You get ... (Below threshold)
Craig Travis:

Who does the work? You get rich by getting others to do it. What ever happened to "going Galt"? Like the rich don't want the job. What we're talking about here is greed.

Tax rich demacrats tax the ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Tax rich demacrats tax the KENNEDYS,GORES,EDWARDS,KERRY,TED TURNER and all those liberal skunkweeds on hollyweird




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