“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”
“Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.”
–Alexis de Tocqueville
Those two men outlined the antithesis of Progressive ideology because, in order for a Republic to thrive, society must be built upon the rule of law; and the rule of law is built upon the belief that man can live free and still govern himself; and the belief that man can live free and still govern himself is rooted in the belief that man has free will. Progressives – and all their kindred spirits – reject this idea. They believe that man is inherently evil and cannot help but do evil; therefore, humanity must be controlled by its moral superiors. Naturally, Progressives just assume they are those moral superiors. Unfortunately, they reveal that they cannot be the superiors because they do not see the fallacy in their reasoning. You see, if they are correct and humanity is inherently evil, then, as part of this same evil species, the Progressive is as corrupt as those they seek to control: blind men claiming they are the only ones who can see the path to safety for the rest of a blind world. The proof of this moral shortcoming in the Progressive ideology can be found in nearly everything they do, especially the ways Progressives manage public funds:
“Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism.”
Notice how Bastiat points to “progressive” taxation as a form of theft. Supposedly, progressive taxation helps the “poor” by forcing the “rich” to pay more of their “fair share.” There are many problems with this, starting with the fact that such a tax policy violates natural law by placing government in a state of war with “the rich.” The social contract stipulates that government is supposed to protect all citizens equally, both “poor” and “rich” alike and, as I explained in Direct and Differential Taxation Negate the Right to Private Property, one of the most important roles of government is to protect private property rights. But, by taking from one citizen said to have too much and giving to another said to have too little, government is “taking sides” against “the rich.” This is a violation of the social contract and of natural law.
Our founders actually spoke out on the subject of welfare:
“To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–’the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.’”
–Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy’s “Political Economy,” 1816. ME 14:466
“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress… Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”
The careful reader will no doubt notice that, between Bastiat, Jefferson and Madison’s, we can find examples of our federal government encroaching in nearly every area these men described as clear signs of government excess and injustice. But this is all by design. It has less to do with serving the best interest of the people and more to do with protecting the ranks of the self-appointed elite by using tax policy to build a wall between the ruling class and the common masses. They do this by writing tax code so that it is nearly impossible to amass and/or hold vast quantities of wealth without their approval. The reason most people miss this is because our language has been destroyed. The problem is that income, which is subject to taxation, is very different from wealth, which is not:
Definition of INCOME
1: a coming in : entrance, influx
2: a gain or recurrent benefit usually measured in money that derives from capital or labor; also : the amount of such gain received in a period of time
Definition of WEALTH
1obsolete : weal, welfare
2: abundance of valuable material possessions or resources
3: abundant supply : profusion
4a : all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value
b : all material objects that have economic utility; especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time
Now, when you hear the Progressives telling you they are going to “get the rich,” ask yourself: “Why wouldn’t they, the rich, be worried about the effects of their own tax policy on themselves?” Now, they will pretend that they don’t care about what it costs them because they care more about “the poor,” but this is a lie. The truth is, they are not concerned because their policies are aimed at income, but the majority of their money is derived from their wealth, not their income. So you see, when they “soak the rich,” they don’t care because it doesn’t really affect them. This is also how Warren Buffet can say it is unfair that he only pays 17% in taxes but his secretary has to pay 36% (or whatever the actual numbers were). You see, Buffet is talking about the taxes on the interest and investments he draws from his wealth, which is not counted the same as his secretary’s actual income from her paycheck.
But here’s the really ugly side of all this: it is designed to A – steal from the masses and – this is the most important part – to prevent anyone from being able to accumulate enough personal wealth to escape their control – unless they approve of it, that is. In which case, they will do their best to make sure they maintain control by making sure you understand you can only keep your wealth with their approval. And this is how the Progressives use our tax code to keep you and I from being able to get rich without them saying it’s OK.
When you are dealing with Progressives, the lesson is simple: everything is about control – everything.