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The Founders on the Redistribution of Wealth

September 14th, 2011 3 comments

We hear much talk today of making the rich pay their “fair share.” The questions we need to ask are, “Who are the rich?” and “How do we define the phrase “fair share?” Unfortunately the “rich” are generally defined as those who make more than we do and “fair share” means you need to pay more. Our progressive tax rate enforces this folly by taxing those with greater incomes at a higher tax rate. Put simply, it is a politician’s arbitrary decision to take that which belongs to someone else under the pretense of taking care of those who have less.

Does the government have the constitutional right to do this?

Founding Father Sam Adams didn’t think so. He said:

“The Utopian schemes of leveling (aka redistribution of wealth through taxation) and a community of goods (aka socialism/communism), are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. (These ideas) are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.”

Thomas Jefferson warned, “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

As the 2012 election approaches, we must make sure we elect men and women who honor the private property of America’s citizens, who encourage hard work and initiative, and who will work for a just tax code which doesn’t punish producers for their success.