Still, her husband did well, and she has enough money to easily get her through the rest of her life on her own. She frets over how much she spends, though, because she wants to leave some for my wife and the boys. I appreciate that, but ...
We keep telling her, "It's your money. We are expecting nothing. Spend it."
This morning we had Fox and Friends on, and Geraldo Rivera ... who is often on as a guest -- was there plugging the compromise on the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts to only people making $1,000,000 a year or more, instead of the $250K limit the administration wants. He said hey, it would be a great compromise, and asked how you could justify not raising some taxes on people who make that much.
Then there was a segment on some millionaires and billionaires that are supposedly "begging" the government to raise their taxes (to whom I would like to say, "fine, write out a check to the IRS. in any amount you'd like.")
And yesterday I saw this from Morgan on Facebook:
"Tax cuts are not an expense. Anyone who says anything to the contrary, is selling male-bovine-used-food, period, end of story, full stop."It was all rolling around in my mind, and I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm always looking for new, better ways to get the message across to people. (I'm not sure I'll succeed here, but this blog often consists of me working my thoughts out "out loud".)
The attitude that the "we need to tax the rich more to pay for all this" crowd is that 1) we need all of this, and 2) we must get the money from some[one]where.
We keep getting the argument from the other side that "The Rich" aren't paying "their fair share". Well what is fair? Would it be, say, if the top 5% paid over half the taxes? Becuase that's what it is, currently.
My wife and I pay 25% of our income in Federal Income Tax. People making over $250K pay 33% of their income in Federal Income Tax. They pay 8% more of a much larger number. And people making over $375K pay 35% of their income in Federal Income Tax. So it sounds to me like they are already paying more than "their fair share".
But it's really not about "fair shares". It's about people wanting something, seeing someone who has the means to give them what they want, and getting their grubby hands on the levers of government power to force those other people to cough up more of their dough. Not only are they already giving more dough, they're giving a bigger percentage of their dough for the cause. At what point will it become "fair" if it is not "fair" now?
The answer is never.
That's because the question for the big government types is never, "what are people willing to pay for?", it's "who can we force to pay for this stuff we think we need?" Or, for the politicians, "Who can we force to pay for this stuff we promised people to get their votes?" As long as they can get someone else to pay for their wants or for "their" lagesse .... they'll just keep taking more.
They're in a constant state of tax-mining. Constantly scouring the country for the next group of people they can convince 51% of America, or 51% of American politicians -- that it's ok to take more money from them, for whatever reason. They're too rich. They have "bad" habits. It's for their own "good". Those are the biggies. From whom can we take money such that the number of people who object will be sufficiently small or can be socially marginalized -- so that voting to take more of their money is politically feasible.
Smokers. Drinkers. Millionaires. People who consume too much sugar. Fat. Meat. Non-Green energy sources. It's not only more money they're looking for, it's more places to establish money streams.
Of course, then they talk about things like, as Morgan pointed out, tax cuts "costing" money. No ... spending costs money. The only way something can "cost" you money is if the money is already yours, and you spend it on something. But future tax revenues aren't already "the government's". Higher taxes on you cost you money, because the money was yours.
It won't cost us a dime if my mother-in-law spends all of her money. We might, at some future date, GET more money if she doesn't ... but that is not the same thing. We are not entitled to any of it, and we expect none of it. If she wants to give it to us, that's great. But it's her decision.
When "the rich" get to keep more of their money, they create more jobs and make more people rich by expanding the economy. And that's a great point -- but ultimately not the real underlying point. That point is that it's their money is not our money. We have no more right to it than they have to ours.
Taxes are necessary to run the State, no question about it. But the State should be thought of as sort of a necessary evil, and treated as such. When it wants money, we should be highly suspicious from the outset, and be stingy about letting the Government do things that can and should be done by private citizens and groups of private citizens.
Most social programs fall into that category.