A Father's Dream

Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.  Assuming that development and the achievement of a high per capita income is a benefit to society as a whole I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development, thereby reducing our reliance on foreign aid.

--Barak H. Obama, "Problems Facing Our Socialism: Another Critique of Sessional Paper No. 10," East Africa Journal 2 (July 1965): 31.
Call me naïve, but I fail to understand how if the government took all of my income in taxes it would be able to provide "benefits...commensurate with [my] income which is taxed" and still have anything left over to "syphon...into savings" to be spent on something (or someone) else.  Surely if the government gives me benefits commensurate with my income, it would be the same thing as paying me that income.  And what if I want to have some say in what benefits I receive, a.k.a. how I spend the money that I have earned?  But of course that shows my true naïveté, thinking that I have earned anything or have any right to it once I have.

*NB The pdf opens on my iPad but not my laptop.  As far as I can tell, the link is good.

Comments

  1. Obama wrote that when he was four? And he misspelled his own name?

    My problem with income tax comes from the fact that it effectively penalizes, or seems to penalize, something I'm supposed to be doing. To work is to benefit myself, my family, and my community. I am not being a drain on others because of their need to support me. For this I am taxed? It doesn't make sense. It is effectively a tax on work. There are other ways for governments to raise revenue. Obama can say what he likes, but it's not going to happen. Were a Republican (or anyone) to say that they would abolish the tax on work (call it an income tax if you will), then I would listen. But until then, neither the hypocrisy of a rich man nor the rhetoric of a four-year old boy does anything to move me.

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