There is little incentive for nearly 50 percent of the population to care about a reduction in taxes since they are the beneficiaries of high taxes. A reduction in taxes would mean a reduction in what they get through wealth transfer payments.
If the tax reduction argument is used, it must be explained in a way that shows it’s a benefit to everyone. But even this is difficult since politicians live on confiscated money in order to buy votes so they can stay in office. In addition, millions of Americans don’t want an opportunity to get a job. They are content to be slaves to the State. It’s hard to imagine, but some people enjoy being slaves.
Talk about cutting spending is also problematic since spending is used to buy votes.
While tax cuts and spending cuts do not resonate with tens of millions of voters, they must be implemented.
The Tax Policy Center estimates that for tax year 2011, 46% of households owed nothing in federal income taxes. A CNN Money article reports, that “while the Zero Tax Club includes some very high-income households, it is made up disproportionately of low- and lower-middle-income households.”
The Index of Dependence on Government published by the Heritage Foundation points out the implications of the disparity.
“If the citizens’ representatives are elected by an increasing percentage of voters who pay no income tax, how long will it be before these representatives respond more to demands for yet more entitlements and subsidies from non-payers than to the pleas of taxpayers to exercise greater spending prudence?”
Once the 50 percent number is breached, it’s all over. Many people will lose the incentive to work at high levels because of the taxes they’ll have to pay to subsidize others. Why work hard for diminishing returns, especially when a large portion of their income will be paid out to people who always will vote against the interests of productive people?
There’s a long history of the devastating effect that dependency has had on people when the incentive to work is jeopardized.
The Massachusetts Bay Colony, like its predecessors at Jamestown in Virginia, removed the incentive to work by removing the incentive to make a profit. The result? Half the settlers who had arrived in 1620 were dead within a few months.
William Bradford, the colony’s governor, understood what was causing the economic collapse. The following is from his Of Plymouth Plantation:
[Every person of the colony] should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves . . . . And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, for present use . . . . This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use.
There is a great incentive to work when someone is not paying for your food and subsidizing your lifestyle. There is a great disincentive to work when someone is benefitting from your labor without having to do any work.
Will the November election repeat the tragedies of Jamestown and Massachusetts Bay or will a majority of voters follow the wisdom of candidates who are cast in the mold of William Bradford? The fate of our nation is on the line.