copyright by Morgan McFinn
Recent visitors to Cambodia from the U.S. seem to be increasingly pre-occupied with the upcoming Presidential election in November. I listened to some of them in Phnom Penh and a few here in Kampot. Politics is a rather live wire topic for most people. Discussing the subject rarely results in a person changing his or her mind because their minds are already made up before the discussion begins. I find it advisable to just listen.
As is so often the case, domestic economics are the primary concern. Unemployment in the U.S. has been high throughout the current administration’s three plus years running the show. Allegedly, the economy as a whole has not been doing well. From what I’ve listened to, the general consensus is that the government needs to raise taxes in order to pay off its debts and create more jobs. Of course, it is the wealthy class that will be expected to bear the exorbitant portion of these new taxes. Poor people will likely be exempt from any additional taxes. Rich people deserve to pay more taxes; poor people deserve compassion. That’s the sentiment that the present administration hopes will get it re-elected for four more years.
It is also a sentiment that overlooks a few salient points:
Poor people don’t create jobs; rich people do.
Rich people didn’t get rich by being stupid. When government taxes become too high they will either move their businesses elsewhere or, worse, go out of business.
Historically, lowering the personal and corporate tax rates have always resulted in higher tax revenue. It may seem to be a conundrum but, the record proves it to be the truth. Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan all ignited booming U.S. economies by lowering taxes. Twenty-five years of unprecedented economic growth in the case of Reagan’s policies. Unemployment, interest rates and inflation all went down. Those are the sort of results that benefit rich and poor alike.
I never met a poor person in my life who wouldn’t prefer to be rich. A government that feels true compassion for the poor will get off their backs. They will never prosper by government hand-outs. The Great Society programs initiated by Lyndon Johnson were a dismal failure because they rewarded sloth, led to the break-up of two parent families and exacerbated racial prejudice. Walter Williams, a highly acclaimed U.S. economist remarked, “The black family in America survived in tact the horrors of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, and ‘separate but equal’ segregation laws. What it could not survive was the welfare state.” Williams is black as are Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele. They are also three of the leading intellectuals in America of any race or creed. Unfortunately, they have been trumped by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton…two self-serving egomaniacs who have succeeded in retarding the progress of blacks in America to a greater extent than anybody who ever draped a white sheet over their heads and they’ve made themselves very wealthy in the process.
The only genuinely compassionate hand-out that the citizens of any country need to prosper is the government’s hand out of their pockets. What a shame that governments seem to think they know how to spend money better than do the people who earn that money!
That applies to both poor people and rich people. Politicians need to stop pandering to the notion that wealthy citizens should be punished for being successful. Instead of confiscating their money they should allow that money to create new profitable enterprises which generate jobs which allow more opportunities for more people to become wealthy. As John F. Kennedy said, “No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is better off. A rising tide raises all boats.”
The Founding Fathers forbid the taxation of personal income and they did so for very good reasons. Then, on the eve of the Christmas holidays in 1913 when many congressmen had gone home to be with their families, a bunch of blackguards enacted the personal income tax law. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has since become the largest federal bureaucracy in the United States of America. You think your government has your best interests at heart?
Their primary interest is concerned with keeping the juggernaut of their oppressive stranglehold in tact. Any politician or political party that tells you that the way to solve social and economic problems is to confiscate more of your hard earned income should be defeated. As Reagan declared, “Government is not the solution; government is the problem.”
Amen to that…