Every April 15th, I reaffirm my distrust in government — especially when it takes away more of my hard-earned money.
Like millions of Americans, I recently completed my tax returns. It’s not a fun process but I’m relieved it’s over. If more young people understood the problem inset in high taxes, they wouldn’t continue to flock to the political left.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recently released their 2012 tax returns. Unsurprisingly, the Obama’s didn’t pay their “fair share” of taxes — only a mere 18.4 percent of their adjusted gross income ($608,611). The question beckons: what happened to paying your “fair share” in taxes, Mr. President?
President Obama’s burdensome tax policies and its effects on business owners must be taken into account. Nevertheless, we must go beyond the president’s class warfare rhetoric and take a page from history about taxes to explain why exorbitant taxation is a detriment to a healthy, thriving society.
In his treatise The Law, renowned French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat wrote why unwarranted, high taxation of a free people qualifies as legal plunder. Legal plunder is defined as the following:
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.
Unsure as to why high taxation is legal plunder? Read another excerpt from The Law:
But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.
The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.
Bastiat was correct about legal plunder. This administration is set on redistributing wealth and fulfilling its goal of diminishing American free enterprise.
Americans must be cognizant of the current and equally disastrous policies in place. If this assault on free enterprise continues, the America we love and know will cease to exist.
*Excerpts taken from The Law by Frédéric Bastiat.