Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Another day to live in infamy

"Paying for IRS cheaters" reads the head on an article syndicated by the loathesome Cox News Service.
The author is Bob Dart, and the article was published in the April 15 (familiar date?) edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The subhead says, "Honest taxpayers are subsidizing those who are evading the law, IRS says."
At least the paper attributes the comment, to the even more loathesome IRS, rather than printing it as fact.
Still, the article uses such phrases as "Americans who suspect they are paying more than their fair share of federal income taxes are right ..."
The dishonesty comes from assuming there is something properly called a "fair share" of federal income taxes.
The dishonesty comes from accepting the federal government's alleged needs to be of more account than the right of the wage earner to keep his money and use it to buy food or clothing or shelter.
The dishonesty comes from allowing a false premise that government deserves some particular chunk of money from the workers and producers even before the workers and producers can fulfill the needs of themselves and their families, and that it is "evaders" and "cheaters" who are the cause of the financial anguish to the workers and producers, rather than the tax system and insane spending of the government.
Frederic Bastiat already wrote about one aspect of this phenomenon some 160 years ago. When the glazier gets a job to replace the baker's window, the gathering mob agrees the economy is getting a boost because the glazier gets some money he might not have been paid otherwise.
What is ignored is that the baker might well have had other intentions in mind for his money, that his freedom of choice is taken from him by the vandal who broke his window.
Newspaper writers in general, and Cox writers in particular, have little or, more likely, no knowledge of economics and certainly none of Bastiat.
If you are paying "more than your fair share," then blame properly belongs to the tax collectors -- and to the academics and journalists who aid and abet -- not to those people who find ways to keep their own money.

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