Saturday, January 29, 2011

What happened to the "party of the people?"

By Kevin Price

When I was a college I had a friend of mine who constantly told me that the Democratic party was for "the people." I was already a strong believer in limited government and had nothing but disdain for the socialism that I saw as pervasive in the Democratic party then and is an even more the case today. I would ask this friend to explain what he would mean and, invariably, he would point at the large tax increases his party always wanted on the rich and the social programs for the poor.

Benjamin Franklin argued that "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." This goes back to an adage used in recent generations, that, "the more you tax something, the less you get of it. The more you subsidize something, the more you get of it." The Democrats have long had a strategy of taxing wealth (and job creation), while subsidizing poverty. Under the Obama administration, this strategy is in full force and, as a result, we have more people unemployed for a longer period of time than any period since the 1930s. Furthermore, we have over 44 million on Food Stamps. On the taxing side, the US is about to have the highest tax rates of any industrialized country in the world by January 2011. Franklin made it clear, subsidizing poverty is dangerous, "more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them." Entitlement and slothfulness accompanies those who are not forced to care for themselves.

The only ones who benefit at all from a government that is growing out of control are the super rich and, if you consider getting "something for nothing" a "good thing," the poor. The super rich can afford excessive taxation because, in the vast majority of cases, they only pay taxes when their money is actively used. If it is not used in buying business, paying salaries, etc., it is not taxed. They can afford to sit while the tax laws destroy those who aspire to be rich and make it attractive for people who do not want to pursue employment at all.

Those who "support" the poor through excessive spending believe proponents of limited government are "for business," while they are for "the people." It is correct that friends of liberty support bills that encourage economic freedom. But businesses support liberal candidates as well. Liberals want us to believe that Obama raised almost ten times more than McCain in the last Presidential campaign by getting coupons and food stamps from the homeless and the destitute. According to the Federal Election Commission, the top 1 parent income group gave three to one more to Barack Obama than John McCain. How is it possible for a person who is bent on being the "Peoples' President" to be the recipient of so much support from the rich? The reason for this is simple, the mega rich are the only ones that can actually afford big government. In addition, they see big government as a tool that keeps those who aspire to be rich in their place. The reason for this is simple, the entrepreneur gets rich through business activity. If such is taxed or regulated too much, they cannot participate fully in the market place, particularly against those who can afford not to be economically active at all. In a way, high taxes are a form of protectionism for the super rich.

The big loser in such scenarios are the middle class, who find themselves pushed into poverty because of a tax system that, again, only benefits the rich and those who are poor. The "party of the people" has not been for the "forgotten man" for generations. The average American is inconsequential to liberals in their quest to control. They control the mega business through tax and regulations that small businesses cannot keep up with and they control the poor through the welfare state. A party that was actually for "the people" would strive to make prosperity an option for everyone by showing favoritism to none.

Kevin Price
Host, Price of Business, M-F at 11 am on CBS Radio News
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