Congress is thinking about removing the tax deduction for interest paid on mortgages. The mortgage interest deduction is said to be one of the most popular provisions of the tax code. What does any deduction assume? It assumes that if there were no deductions the Federal government theoretically could claim all our money.
How do we get deductions? The government gives them to us. I’m reminded of a comment made by the biblical character Job: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Job could say this because his life and possessions were a gift from God. What God gave, He could take away, “since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all thing” (Acts 17:25).
The Declaration of Independence assumes the truth of Job’s own declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Governments, as they are understood in God’s economy, do not give or take away rights; they are in the business to protect what God has freely given.
In our day, the State has declared itself to be god, and as we saw in the last election, the majority of voters like it that way. They’ve picked their Caesar.
We could modernize Job’s declaration so it better reflects the way civil government operates in the 21st century:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb if my mother didn’t abort me since the State has made killing pre-born babies legal, and naked I shall return possibly prematurely in order to save on medical expenses since the new healthcare legislation has gone into effect. The State gave and the State can take it away if 51 percent of voters say it can. Blessed be the name of the government program that sends me redistributed wealth in the name of fairness.”
We start with 100 percent of our income. The government passes laws that allow us to claim certain deductions. The more deductions we have, the less we have to pay the State. The fewer deductions we have, the more we have to pay the State.
Who gives us the deductions? The government. We don’t get to choose what we can deduct. The State gives, and the State takes away. When the tax code was revamped by reducing rates, certain deductions were eliminated, for example, interest that was paid on credit cards. Over time, the rates have increased, but the credit card interest deduction was not reinstated.
Talk about deductions and closing “loop holes” are designed to divert attention away from the real issue. When the State owns our money, it owns our time; when it owns our time, it owns us.
It’s a shame that we don’t have an opposition party that can articulate these ideas. Of course, the reason we don’t is because the majority of Republicans are in the wealth redistribution business as well.