Liberals have informed me that the GOP tax plan will "take from the poor and give to the rich." Let me state from the start that I am passionately opposed to such a plan. I do not believe that the government should be stealing money from the wallets of our poor and putting it into the bank vaults of the wealthy. In fact, I would find this morally deranged, unsustainable, and criminal. I'll do you one better: a government that enacts this kind of system ought to be violently overthrown.
It's a good thing we don't have that kind of system and we never will.
When liberals claim that the Republican tax plan will "steal from the poor" and "give to the rich" what they mean is that the rich will be getting a tax break and the poor and middle class will not. This is untrue even when phrased correctly. The middle class will, in fact, receive a tax break that isn't any smaller, proportionally, than the break given to "the rich." But let's put that to the side for the moment and examine this notion that we are somehow "giving" to the rich by not taking what is already theirs.
To begin with, we have to establish one thing: rich folks already pay far, far, far more than their fair share of the taxes. The top 1% — Bernie's dreaded millionaires and billionaires — pay 40% of all federal income taxes. The top 5% pay 60%. The top 10% pay 70%. The top 25% pay 86%. The entire bottom half of income earners are responsible for chipping in a whopping 3%. The poor pay no income taxes at all and receive a refund that exceeds the amount withheld.
So, while the well-off carry almost the entire tax burden, the poor turn a profit. I myself have been poor, or nearly poor, earning around 17 grand a year from a full-time job, and I well remember getting free money come tax day. Indeed, it was a shock to the system to achieve a little more success in life (though I still am certainly not rich) and learn what it's like to actually pay taxes. It's not fun. And the government takes such a massive chunk that, if they took much more, it would almost defeat the purpose of earning the money in the first place.
What more do you want? What sort of maniac could look at the percentage breakdowns and come to the conclusion that the upper brackets aren't paying enough? They're paying almost all of it. Should they pay literally all of it? Should they pay 500% of taxes so that everyone in the bottom 50% gets a $5,000 annual bonus? What's the end game here?
Yes, I agree that people need to put in their fair share. But I can't fathom the thought process that leads a person to decide that "fair share" means that the people paying almost everything should pay even more.
Well, I can fathom the thought process. It's called greed. While we lambast the rich for their greed, there are many Americans who already pay little to no taxes, yet insist on paying less. Who is really greedy here? The man who wishes to keep a bit more of his own money, or the man who demands to receive a bit more of his neighbor's money?
The first man is greedy if he hoards his wealth and makes no attempt to help the less fortunate. But he is not greedy for wanting to handle his charitable giving on his own, rather than surrendering enormous portions of his income to a wasteful and corrupt government. The second man is greedy from the start. It is not morally justified to feel entitled to another person's possessions. This is called covetousness, and it is a sin. It is among the many sins fostered and encouraged by politicians on the Left.
This is where the "taking from the poor and giving to the rich" idea originates. We accuse the successful of "stealing" what is rightfully their own because we believe we are entitled to it. Many people in our culture have no respect for private property, no appreciation for the toil and discipline required to achieve financial success, and no understanding of the fact that every man — even a rich man — has a right and responsibility to care for his own family with the money he has earned before he can be expected to fund elaborate handout schemes. An American who has sipped deeply from the Leftist punchbowl will honestly believe that he is owed a rich man's money, he is owed it even more than the man's children are owed it, and to deprive them of it is to steal it from them.
It's madness. Utter, complete madness.