Today I was reading a couple of articles about Obama’s beloved “Gang of Six” and their plan to cut the deficit by $3.7 trillion over ten years (while raising the debt limit, of course). The plan sounds like the usual hash of smoke-and-mirrors accounting, combined with a healthy dose of false promises (only $500 billion of the cuts will be made immediately; the rest are subject to a bill proposal that we’re told will be on the “fast track”). And of course in ten years — maybe even in two years — many of these politicians won’t be in office anyway. Politics as usual.
But what disturbed me the most was that both articles I read — one at Reuters and one on Politico — used a euphemism I had not noticed before, one also used by Obama and the House Ways and Means Chairman, David Camp, in discussing the plan: “revenue increase” or “new revenue” as a substitute for “tax increase.”
For those who may have forgotten, income taxes are not voluntary. If you engage in productive activity, and thereby earn what the government defines as “income,” and you do not pay the “tax,” then you will go to jail. This “tax” money is taken from you by force. The fact that people often forget this is demonstrated by those who casually assert that “the wealthy must pay their fair share,” and the like, when arguing for higher tax rates on the “very rich.”
The problem — the inability to retain the context of what the income tax really is — is exacerbated by referring to taxes simply as “revenue,” so that a “tax increase” becomes a “revenue increase.” I mean, who wouldn’t want a “revenue increase,” if one was allowed to completely evade the real source of the “revenue,” and to pretend that it came from some legitimate source? In fact no rational person would want this, but apparently our politicians (and their accomplices in the media) are beyond the point of thinking rationally and are at the stage of trying to get away with whatever they can. (The same sort of evasion is facilitated when politicians argue in terms of whether “we” or “the country” can “afford” a tax cut.)
That’s why I say, if politicians, the media, et al. insist on using the terms “revenue increase” or “new revenues,” when speaking about tax increases, we should insist on using the terms “theft increase,” or “new theft.” It would make what our government plans to do to us much clearer.
(Click here to read about Ayn Rand’s proposal for government financing in a free society.)