Another State of the Union speech; another empty pageant of “signals” sent by selecting special guests; another chance for President Obama’s party to create a brief illusion of popularity by furiously applauding pronouncements that will be forgotten within days; and another wish list of billion-dollar spending proposals designed to make the opposition party look bad by blocking them. None of it has anything to do with responsible government, and only the political class will pay much attention.
Some suggested the Republicans who now lead both houses of Congress should have refused to invite President Obama to give his tedious little infomercial, as a gesture of protest against his usurpation of power. Perhaps an even better reason to cancel the State of the Union address, this year and for many previous years, would be the lack of a budget. Both parties use this pageant for political purposes, but it has no real importance to the rest of America. Let’s cancel their political Super Bowl until they start delivering balanced budgets on time, instead of funding everything through panicky last-minute “cromnibus” bills.
In an atmosphere of information saturation, we hardly need an annual speech from a politician to tell us how things are going. Let’s be blunt: by President Obama’s own constant testimony, the average citizen knows more about the State of the Union than he does. This is the man who claims he had no idea there was a big rally going on in Paris while he was trying to watch a football game. We really don’t need to hear an hour of him boasting that he can spend fifty or sixty billion dollars more wisely than the people who earned it.
The American taxpayer is never an honored guest at this spend-a-palooza. On the contrary, taxpayers are openly despised, accused in advance of heartless guilt and greed for their reluctance to “contribute” whatever the Ruling Class decides their “fair share” should be. If Republicans really want to fight Obama’s Santa Claus routine, they should declare themselves the Party of Taxpayers. There’s really no other way to win the battle of Freedom versus Free Stuff.
How incredibly provocative it would be for the Republican leadership to stand up and declare itself dedicated to respecting and protecting the people who pay taxes! Obama and his party would hiss like a closet full of vampires exposed to the sun. Notice that they never express affection or respect for the people who pay taxes, not even the sort of hollow flattery politicians specialize in. What they do talk about, endlessly, is their love for “The Middle Class.”
That’s a very interesting rhetorical substitution because the Left doesn’t think of the Middle Class as taxpayers. On the contrary, their highest priority is subduing the Middle Class and leeching away its independence with welfare and subsidies. For generations, they have toiled in their social-engineering laboratory to engineer the hybrid Taker-Maker: a class of people who have jobs and work very hard, but also can’t make ends meet without government assistance. Obama’s part-time economy is an important step in that direction, as is Obamacare.
Under Obamacare, people who earn very solid middle-class paychecks can’t afford insurance without subsidies. They will learn, in the years to come, how their dependency upon such subsidies can be used to control them. Every time they demand a nickel of their freedom back, they’ll be told – with the greatest regret, of course! – that the very first nickel surrendered by Big Government must come out of their healthcare subsidies.
President Obama’s hilarious bid to provide “free” community college, by taxing the hell out of college savings plans, is a perfect example of Taker-Maker fusion. He’s going to pick your pocket, use some of the money he takes to buy you a piece of candy, and hand the rest of the loot over to his cronies. Community college would degenerate, the same way higher education’s price has soared while its quality has declined. Soon enough, those “free” community college degrees – whose estimated price tag has already skyrocketed from $30 billion to $60 billion in just the handful of days since Obama floated the idea – would become simultaneously worthless, expensive, and indispensable. You wouldn’t get a very good education, but you would find the diploma essential for applying to any job worth having … and as the cost of the program exploded into orbit, you’d find that “free” education held hostage every time you called for government reform, just like your health insurance.
This is the sort of garbage the Party of Taxpayers has to stop. We’re tired of being accused of vague crimes, and socked with breathtaking penalties, every time some lefty produces a new “income inequality” chart. Our legal standard of presumed innocence is violated when doctored statistics are enough to confiscate our earnings without trial. All of this redistributionist garbage amounts to penalizing people who played by the rules. It’s time for the Left to tell us exactly which laws we violated and bring us to trial, or get the hell out of our paychecks.
We insist on both vibrant liberty and clean information to make rational decisions about our lives. We’re tired of being manipulated by charlatans who hide the true cost of government from us. Nothing becomes “free” merely because other people are forced to pay for it. Nothing becomes “free” simply because it’s purchased with deficit dollars that will turn into irresistible demands for tax increases tomorrow. Nothing gets cheaper because someone is forced to provide it at gunpoint.
The more government takes charge of anything, especially the federal government, the less we know about its true cost. Nothing on this Earth is harder to track than a dollar gobbled up by the Leviathan State. By definition, when the government takes over an industry, it becomes more opaque. Valid information is essential to the exercise of freedom because decisions based on fraud are not free; the victim of a swindle has been robbed, as surely as the victim of a back-alley stickup.
We the Taxpayers are sick and tired of being robbed, especially since the Party of Government assures us that our lost freedom can never be recovered. Isn’t it funny how every sacrifice of liberty swiftly becomes irrevocable? Isn’t it interesting how we’re never told, before the votes are cast, that we’ll never be allowed to vote on the matter again? Freedom is change, but every decision government takes away from us swiftly calcifies.
We wouldn’t use our money to buy expensive products that lack a warranty of any kind – no returns, no refunds, and a “customer service” team that never tires of insulting those who ask for their money back. But we’re routinely told that we’re saddled with every Big Government boondoggle, no matter how badly it fails. The Party of Taxpayers will demand value for money, and if that value cannot be provided in accordance with the original promises, then the deal is off. The refusal to hold politicians responsible for broken promises, or terminate government programs that fail to live up to expectations, is an aspect of the absolute contempt in which taxpayers are held. The people who pay the bills are most likely to demand value for money. Those with no skin in the game have far lower standards for performance.
Keeping what you earn is an essential component of human dignity. So is the responsibility to earn what you need. That sense of ownership and earning is what drives us to expect value. The expectation of value, in turn, drives competition. This is the power of freedom, and it is a power we should never trade for vague political promises we have absolutely no power to enforce. We can set our course according to what is earned, or what is demanded. It’s no surprise at all that politicians prefer the latter. Why were we ever foolish enough to listen to them … and haven’t the endless scandals and failures of Barack Obama’s government proven that it’s long past time for us to stop listening?
Respect for liberty is inseparable from respect for taxpayers – anyone who tells you differently is trying to weave pseudo-patriotic cover for theft. There is little dignity in store for a population reduced to fighting each other like dogs for scraps from Big Government’s table. Individual freedom does not flourish when organizing into rigid political collectives, so packaged votes can be sold to politicians in exchange for benefits, is the only way to succeed in life, for those who aren’t rich enough to buy the government’s favor with a personal donation or corporate check. Ambition withers when we are reduced to waiting for murky tax-and-spend clouds to float overhead and rain goodies on us. Freedom is measured in the decisions we make, and the responsibilities we take, not by the convenience of same-day registration to vote for people who will make our decisions for us.
The Party of Taxpayers will call for an end to an insane tax system, whose administrations claim that $11 billion isn’t enough funding to enforce it. Above all, taxpayers should demand a decisive end to the use of taxation for any purpose other than financing the limited duties of government as efficiently as possible. The tax man is not supposed to be our damned overseer. Taxes aren’t supposed to be carrots and sticks for controlling our behavior, or a means of rewarding favored constituencies for loyal service to the Ruling Class.
Notice how the tax system requires the State to conduct highly intrusive monitoring of taxpayers, who must provide reams of information in a timely manner, under threat of severe punishment, in a topsy-turvy legal environment where guilt is assumed. On the other hand, virtually no information is required of the State’s favorite dependents. Welfare programs are easily defrauded. Citizenship and immigration are sick jokes. You can tell a lot about who the government truly respects by measuring the right of privacy.
The cost of complying with this grotesque nonsense every year is enough to feed every hungry person in America, and then some. Instead of shrugging that burden off as something taxpayers have to bear because That’s Just the Way It Is, let’s talk about what we could do with the billions we spend on merely complying with tax law … most definitely including allowing the people who earned those billions to keep the money and spend it as they see fit. And please, spare us the whining about how many jobs will be lost if the tax code is sensibly reformed. If your livelihood depends on a parasitic relationship with government, you are not free, and you have no moral claim on the labor of free men and women.
We don’t need to hear any more of this President’s daydreams about all the things he’d do with other people’s money, if he had absolute power. We should be hearing plans for swiftly returning all that has been taken from us because the State of the Union is ours to define. It’s a union, after all. Unions are voluntary. Just governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed. No self-respecting taxpayer wants to sit through another hour of Barack Obama’s plans to seize his assets and engineer his life … but of course, the way things work today, there is little voluntary about America, and the consent of taxpayers counts for little because the Ruling Class believes their will has been broken.