*Author’s note: I used the word ‘Progressive’ over ‘Liberal’ in this post because I identify as a classical liberal, and there is a substantial difference between classical liberalism and the bastardized version of today. So to avoid confusion, we will just refer to them as progressives.
As often as I am on social media, I tend to get into political discussions, no matter how hard I try to avoid them. I learned long ago that trying to argue with someone on Facebook is the biggest exercise in futility in which one can engage these days. But it is my crack. I cannot help but respond when I read something so egregious that I simply can not abide it. The Dude minds, man. This aggression will not stand. So I was struck with inspiration for a recurring piece within Authentic Liberty today after a cordial exchange with someone online: Each week (roughly, or as often as I encounter something worth writing about), I will take a progressive comment I have read in a social media post, and break it down from a Classical Liberal/Libertarian perspective. Today’s winner is this gem, found in response to an article calling out
Democratic Socialist Socialist hero Bernie Sanders for calling on “Millionaires and Billionaires to pay their fair share”, whilst raking in a seven figure income, and purchasing his third(!) house for the small, small price of $600,000. And I quote:
“A lot of speculation there saying he doesn’t do much for the poor… or that his ideology precludes him from being successful. He’s clearly willing to impose higher taxes on himself and his financial peers because he believes a better educated and healthier populace contributes more to the economy.”
Bernie’s Ideology has far from precluded him from being successful. No one at this point that has even paid a modicum of attention would argue that Bernie is a pauper. The man has a talent for expressing a viewpoint, however misguided, in such a way that resonates with millenials, and the progressive socialists of yesterday. A talent, mind you, that he has parlayed into a seven-figure income thanks to the glorious, capitalistic freedom this country has afforded him to peddle his class warfare rhetoric in book form.
And for this, I cannot fault the man! The marketplace of ideas and products has rewarded him for his talent. I will not begrudge a man’s success. And subsequently, if Bernie wanted to impose a higher tax on himself (LOL), then he has every right to do so. As Dubya once so eloquently put it, “…I am pleased to report the the IRS accepts both checks and money orders, heh heh.” *Bush-giggle added for effect*
No, what I take particular issue with from this valiant Bern-out is his insinuation that Bernie is somehow justified in imposing HIS view of what should be paid in taxes on anyone other than HIM. This Is Hardly unique to Senator Sanders. This is, of course, what most libertarians despise about politicians in general. Why should the federal government get to decide how much of MY money I get to keep after my state has already decided what their claim to MY money is, and in certain cities, how much of MY money I ‘get’ to contribute just for driving on #muhroadz or eating in one of the cities fine dining establishments.
The most basic, underlying question I have for my progressive brothers and sisters is why, WHYYYY do you place such high amounts of faith in these people to make decisions about the lives and money of your fellow Americans? Is it because they spend your money So Very Very Very Very Very wisely when they do get it in their greasy mits? Is it because they are So Very Very Very Very Very trustworthy? Why do you believe these people should be the arbiters that get to decide how much money you or I should make? Why should ANYONE vote to impose a limit on their potential earnings?
The reason for many Bernie fans feeling this way on this matter, is most likely, because they are among the group of 45% of all Americans that need not concern themselves with the burden of a high income tax. Make the other guys pay for it. Those ‘millionaires and billionaires’ can foot the bill for all of our free healthcare and free college and free XYZ. Except they can’t. America’s won-ton, runaway spending would continue to expand our deficit, even if we taxed all income over $1mm at 100%. Which means that taxes on the middle class, under a Sanders-style tax-and-spend plan would have to increase, not just on those fat-cats on Wall Street. Main Street would be Feelin’ the Bern as well. But who cares? There’s a statistically significant chance that even a tax hike on the middle class wouldn’t affect majority of those who would hold the same viewpoint as the person to which this article is a response.
If wanting to maximize my earnings and keep as much income as I possibly can is greedy, then so be it. I’m greedy. But then, so is Bernie Sanders. The only difference is, I don’t run around preaching the Gospel of redistribution while participating in the same behavior in my private finances, that I lambast in the public space.
I’d leave you with this, my favorite clip from my boy, Milt, schooling Donahue over the exact same socialist propaganda that Bernie is spewing today. Milt doesn’t trust ANYONE, not even Donahue, as an Angel run a perfect “””Fair””” society for us. I don’t trust Bernie to, either.