September 22, 2012

On Romney’s taxes, individual liberty, and the way forward: an off-the-cuff manifesto

Pursuant to Darleen’s earlier post:  Romney’s income, most of it investment, is, as most people won’t be told, taxed twice. Add to that the 30% in charitable giving (about 30x the amount given by Biden, who charges Secret Service agents rent), and I expect Romney to make hay of this in the debates should  Obama dare bring it up.

In fact, conservatives should be using the time now to explain why investment income — higher risk, higher reward — is taxed at a lower rate to begin with:  it is designed, essentially, to incentivize people to take risks on start ups or other companies / ventures, which is the lifeblood of innovation and free market growth and vitality.  Moreover, these are the tax laws as set up by the freaking Congress to promote investment and growth.

If Obama wishes to change that, let he and his party propose legislation and defend the reforms before the American people.  As I counseled years back, the GOP, for its part, should ask Obama to sign on to a flat tax, which they should relabel as a “fair tax” — and in so doing defang Obama’s dual message of a “fair share” and “skin in the game.”  Put up or shut up, Mr Class Warfare.  Either you believe everybody should pay a fair share and have skin in the game, or you believe saying such is more important than actually making it happen, because by refusing to fix the problem, you can continue to rely on it as a disingenuous bit of class warfare propaganda for your perpetual campaign.

The bottom line is this:  counting charitable giving, Romney paid something like 44% to Obama’s 30% (from 2000 through 2011, the Obama’s donated less than 7% of their income to charity; on average, Romney doubled charitable giving).   In fact, throw in Biden’s 1% charitable giving, and it’s quite possible Romney paid as much or near as much as the President and VP combined — and Romney did so while pumping capital into companies to either help fund them or restructure them to make them viable in exchange for profit.  Win win! Whereas Obama and Biden?  They were deciding how much of your money belongs to them, and to whom they should give it once they’ve taken it from you. That was their contribution to the economy: coercion.  And “charity” doled out by them though the money comes from you.

Overall, what the tax returns show is that Romney is a capitalist and a man who believes in Christian charity.  He takes risks and those risks are reflected in the tax rates he pays. He also gives generously to charity — and doesn’t pretend that compulsory collection and redistribution by those who give out other people’s money is at all noble.  It isn’t.  It’s cynical and narcissistic.  Giving of your own free will?  That’s the opposite of coercion.

Every fucking conservative should be making these points now that the cards are on the table, because what we are witnessing here in numbers is the difference between capitalism and democratic socialism played out in numbers and calculations on entirely too-complex tax forms.

That we’ve been dumbed down to the point where the “emotionalism” and false piety of the socialist argument has gained purchase over the nuts and bolts workings of the capitalist system and its reliance on individual charity, investment, entrepreneurship, risk, etc., only means we aren’t waving our hands over the horizon and saying, “look at how, in 230+ years, we’ve turned a land forged through independence, self-reliance, and revolution, into the most powerful and successful and wealthiest economy in world history — at least, before the left began its growth of government and its devouring of the private sector.  And it continues to do so, feeding itself not only on money it takes from you in taxes and regulations and hidden fees brought about by higher energy prices, food prices, medical care, failed social engineering programs that devalue your home and failed fiscal policy that devalues the dollar, but also be consuming your liberties, frantically looking for ways to manage you so that their schemes can somehow maybe this time work.

“History tells us such Utopian police states lead to misery of conformity, with an elite political ruling class doling out the spoils to its clients and cronies.

“We fought a revolution to free ourselves from such a failed model, alluring though it may be from time to time to the new generation indoctrinated by promises of a collectivist Utopia on earth.

“The truth is, expansive government has led to the incremental weakening of what was once the most vibrant economy on earth, with the freest people on earth.  Politicians, regardless of party, like it that way, because it secures for them the power that our founding documents — which are all but being ignored these days (unless they’re useful for some scheme or other, at which point they’re dusted off and held aloft as sacrosanct by the very people who in every other instance reject them as hoary relics of patriarchal slave-owning revolutionaries steeped in the rigidity of enlightenment philosophy, with its cold adherence to logic and reason and its failure to entertain the necessity of social justice) — meant specifically and emphatically to prevent them from gathering unto themselves.

“And it is back to the first principles — where the government is ours, and politicians work for us, not manage us like pawns on their own grand chess board — that we must return if we really do wish to live in the free country those hateful slave-owning traitors to the Crown bequeathed us.

“This takes hard work; and it cannot be done through compromise  with an ideology that is directly at odds with the founding principles, and in fact is working actively to undermine them as the only way possible to bring about the foundational philosophical and governmental change required for liberal fascism to take control of the entire system.  It takes conservative and classical liberal principles — “purists,” “true believers”, “Visigoths” whose unnuanced understanding of How DC Works marks them as the enemy of the political class — presented as the natural alternative to stultifying conformity represented by the repugnant promise not of equality before a stable law, but of egalitarianism, wherein we are all the same, equal in “outcome,” equal in misery, equal in what comes to count as legitimate expression, equal in our subjecthood.

“We need a counter revolution to what has long been an institutionalized coup by the Communist left.  And no, I don’t believe we’ll ever see communism in the US — though that’s only because even communists are greedy humans, and the natural stopping point for a government with such powers is to work with selected and preferred corporations to run the whole of society.

“Liberal fascism, with a “benevolent” police state as its security mechanism, is the ultimate goal of the “reformers” from the New Left who now run the Democratic Party.  And beyond that, they wish to expand the reach of this system, through international agencies peopled with leftist power-hungry bureaucrats and wealthy globalists, to something that will eventually attenuate the very idea of state sovereignty (though they’d naturally keep up the pretense; the breakdown will occur through the implementation of selected “treaties” or agreements which effectively end sovereignty while maintaining the ruse of its vitality).

That’s the conservative / classical liberal message.  This is what’s happening.  And we need people who aren’t nearly so concerned about seeing the next GOP Party manager elevated to high office as they are about what is happening structural and institutional to our country to make that argument.  Again and again and again.  Unafraid.  Unashamed.  Unbothered by mockery.  And completely firm in their convictions.

Our time left is limited. The GOP establishment doesn’t believe it.  The Left is moving forward with Cloward Piven.  And the whole thing can and will collapse if preventative measures aren’t taken.

First, foremost, those measures include an honest and forthright statement of our principles; and acknowledgment of who we are fighting, what they are, and why; a refusal to pretend to comity where what we are dealing with is an attempt to take away our liberties; a complete cleaning out of the current GOP Party leadership, without which we must necessarily begin the long process of building a legitimate and viable third party, with the aim being that classical liberal principles forcefully articulated and not up for sale at any price will eventually allow that third party to swallow up the GOP establishment, which has become a feckless, centrist pander, a low-tax version of a Big Government vision situated on a political spectrum whose entire structure, predictably and inexorably controlled by linguistic incoherence posing as the “democratizing” of knowledge, has moved, and continues to move, ever leftward.

No more.


Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:33am

Comments (39)

  1. Pingback: We Need a Counter Revolution « An Ex-Con's View

  2. Been away at sea, and dismayed to hear you were unwell, but heartened that you are back in the saddle.

    Oh, and the GOP can suck a bag of dicks. Or, what you said.

  3. Pingback: Crazy like a fox? » Cold Fury

  4. Welcome back SW. I actually wondered about you yesterday.

    I’ve also been wondering about bh. He didn’t go with you did he?

  5. We had a long, lanky sort aboard, Lee, but he wasn’t a cheesehead. I think he was from Thurso.

  6. Harry Reid, you can shut up now.

  7. Beautiful post Jeff, meaning dead on accurate and cutting. I know you’re not a Romney fan, but yet you defend him here.

    As a self avowed masshole, I am Pro Romney. You people outside mass really don’t understand the power structure here. When Romney was Gov, the legislature ruled this state.I can’t remember the name of the Senate president ( I was a young and not TOO stupid kid ) but the democrats either vetoed or subverted everything Romney tried.

    Glad you defended him here. He wasn’t my choice either ( Palin ) but we have what we have.

  8. BTW? I know that wasn’t the gist of the post, but I just had to say that.

  9. Yes to all Jeff. But can we add a measure of ridicule to the mix.

    Obama talks about “investing” when he mentions government spending. How has that worked out for you there Barry? Lost 500 bil+ of OUR MONEY on your Solyndra boondoggle. “Invested” in saving the UAW and lost 15 billion of OUR MONEY.

    Question: Would you put your money with Obama? Answer: The only money I have is what Obama gives me and I can only get cigarettes and cable with that so I’m not really in a position to invest right now.

    Okay: Different question: Guy digs a hole, pumps some wicked pressure down in there and releases both natural gas and crude oil at alarming rates. Another guy has this really cool PowerPoint about how using wind and solar will create jobs and save the planet. Who’s going to double your money in 2 years? Answer: Again, I am not an investor. I wait for my check and then I call up my buds, and we get high.

    I’ll repeat. Anyone who thinks Romney was talking about them in his little “47% Truth Bomb”, he was. And another thing. Saw a clip of Obama talking about Romney’s “writing off the 47%. I don’t see any victims here.”

    Obama actually verbalized that only those that don’t pay taxes come to his rallies.

    IQ test. STAT!!

  10. OT: Didjya see this crap? Apparently O’s going to give a speech at the UN blaming all the world’s troubles on our old friend, the “crappy anti-Islam filmmaker”.

    Hell, there’s still 6 weeks or so ’til the election — plenty of time for him to get the SEALs to stage a re-enactment of the Osama bin Laden raid on the filmmaker’s house, with similar results. Maybe — since the guy is no obvious threat — Barry might want to lead the raid personally, just for the photo-op of him shooting the guy in the head, ala this photo.

    Re-election gold, baby!

  11. Did see that John, and find it dovetails quite nicely with this.

    Nothing like unity of effort for getting things done!

  12. This one is way better than the Unabomber’s and I’ll bet he worked a lot harder on his. Mitt should read it.

  13. He also gives generously to charity — and doesn’t pretend that compulsory collection and redistribution by those who give out other people’s money is at all noble. It isn’t. It’s cynical and narcissistic. Giving of your own free will? That’s the opposite of coercion.

    And when Barack Obama’s brother who lives in a shack has his kid get in medical trouble and he needs a hand paying for treatment? He calls Dinesh D’Sousa.

    Obama doesn’t give a shit about anyone but Obama.

  14. Well, that guy isn’t really Obama’s brother, you know, since Obama’s father was really some other guy.

  15. that guy isn’t really Obama’s brother

    that ain’t really his illegal alien aunt in boston

  16. She’s not an illegal alien anymore. She got asylum, because it’s apparently dangerous to be an Obama in Kenya. His drink driving illegal alien uncle in Boston, on the other hand…

  17. She’s not an illegal alien anymore.

    true. but barack dunham-marshalldavis has played the scam really well. the details trip him up.

  18. Romney is about a 3/10 on all the things I look for in a human and a POTUS candidate but as Obama is a 0 that settles the matter.

    Our tax code is an embarrasment to rational thought, a bi-partisan forcible rape of the US economy.

    1. Three tax brackets: 10% $30k-$100k; 20% $100k-$300k; 30%$300k above. Sub $30k (possibly higher for children with disabilities, say $10k) = no federal taxes. No EITC credits. We are a rich and decent nation that doesn’t burden our poor: they retain full citizenship and privilidges. Our most productive citizenry is incented to invest and/or save; on the other hand, they have zero ability, short of outright intentional fraud, to game the system and reduce their obligations.

    2. No deductions for anything other than charitable, where the current system of 100% deductibility is appropriate. Read: No mortgage interest, no carried interest/capital gains gambits, all capital appreciation is income, zero property tax deductibility. The left’s (justified) hobby horses just got made into glue.

    3. Corporate taxes would be flat at 20% with no deductions, credits et al., save for charitable, where dollar for dollar write offs remain. It’s that simple. Financial pornography like net operating loss carry forwards go good bye.

  19. Do you treat capital gains as all other income, Roddy?

  20. On reread, I suppose you do. So, are capital losses deductible? Investment looks much less appetizing here.

    Me, I say we repeal the Sixteenth Amendment.

  21. Voters who support candidates who offer monies from the Treasury for their votes should know better. That they don’t speaks to our despicable and corrupt civilian education system.

    I saw a Drudge headline in passing, Sarah Palin, “America needs a come to Jesus moment”. I’d be happy to substitute a mere mortal, if there was a worthy one, or several hundred, available.

  22. Obama appeals to the weakest link humans, the

  23. There are a tremendous number of people who read “poor” when their tax obligations are totted up. Many of these same are gaming the system for all it’s worth. The fraud that goes on, and it is talked about openly by those who practice it, is wide-spread, involves extended family members and third parties, as well.

    Romney was almost right when he refered to the 47% seeing themselves as victims. Perhaps some do. Most see the rest of us as suckers. After all, if their lives are comfortable now (home, food, utilities, transportation), what can possibly be their incentive to change?

    Higher education offers grants and scholarships that are largely wasted on those with little incentive to learn and no follow through. And there is no monetary loss to the grantee when he drops out of school, since securing the grant money is often itself the incentive to enroll in the first place.

  24. (damn tiny Droid keypad!) …sorts who need intervention from rulers. He’d’ve made a masterful medieval king, or tyrant.

  25. He’s have been murdered by his Privy Counsel.

  26. Romney was almost right when he refered to the 47% seeing themselves as victims. Perhaps some do. Most see the rest of us as suckers.

    See: Unions. They have a God-given right to whatever they can extort. That God doesn’t exist is irrelevant, haters.

  27. OT: picked up a s&w mp 15-22 at the gun show today. Magpul config. Should be great for training the wife and kids before they step up to the SCAR heavy.

    Watch out varmints .

  28. I like your numbers Roddy, though a 5% tax on 0-30k would make me a bit happier.

  29. though a 5% tax on 0-30k would make me a bit happier.

    flat tax for everyone and cupcakes and “equality”

  30. Flat tax would be my first preference, but the pols give away their power if the do that. So i doubt it will happen.

  31. National sales tax of around 15%.

    Then everyone has “some skin in the game” as the Wonce likes to say.

    Indexing tax rates just leads to shenanigans.

  32. but the pols give away their power if the do that.

    hi john boner/mitch mcconman

  33. Glad you agree NR

  34. Shooting .22 is fun because you don’t have to think about how much each shot is costing you.

  35. how much each shot is costing you.

    epa will take care of that. send in the clowns/harryreid

  36. Pablo,
    Yes. It is indeed imperfect, but investment risk/reward has been skewed too long.

    Risk Capital is risk capital. The most disgusting thing about the credit crisis was the privitization of rewards 02-07 vs the public bearing of the settlement of risk in 08-09. This begins to change that.

    I’m supposing that a flater tax would free up individual capital; a 20% corporate tax would 100% do that.

    We are a rich nation, fundamentally. I am supposing we should keep it that way.

  37. Roddy,

    Your time line is a little off. The process began in 1977 when the CRA was passed, and continued under Clinton, 1996, not in 02-07, when you try to blame Bush.

    Who tried multiple times, starting in 2001, to rein in Freddie and Fannie, only to be told that Democrats (and RINOs) would filibuster en masse.