Author Krista Tibbs

Spreading the Wealth

In Commentary, Integrity & Freedom on August 21, 2010 at 5:44 pm
A man is standing on his rotting porch looking across the street to his neighbor’s immaculate three-story home with the security system. The man’s car has almost 200,000 miles on it; his neighbor has a new SUV. The man has a wife and four kids but no health insurance. His neighbor is unmarried and has a pure Alaskan Husky that she pays someone to groom. The man’s job is hourly, and he’s constantly worried that he will lose it. They’ve never been on a family vacation. His neighbor works from home or from the motor home that she frequently takes out for a week at a time. The man knows she has at least $250,000 in her safe.

He envies her. He thinks it isn’t fair that she has so much and he has so little. He thinks she shouldn’t be sitting on so much money when he can’t scrounge together enough to pay his mortgage. He considers his options:

– It is against the law to go to his neighbor’s house and take money from her safe.
– It is against the law to hold a gun to his neighbor’s head while she takes money from her safe and gives it to him.
– It is against the law to threaten to embarrass her with some real or made-up secret if she doesn’t give him money.
– It is against the law to hire someone or a group of people to do any of the above for him.
– It is against the law to accept money that has been obtained by doing any of the above.

Unless the extorted money is laundered through the IRS.

Because it is legal for a group of people to decide that this man’s neighbor has more than enough money and to threaten her with jail time if she doesn’t give over a certain percentage so that it can be used to help her neighbor refinance his mortgage or trade in his clunker car. This group is called Congress. Policies designed to distribute the wealth are instituted under the auspices of the Constitution and “the common good”. It’s unfortunate if your life is uncommon.

It doesn’t matter to this woman’s neighbor that her dog groomer will lose his job because it is a luxury that she will forgo after higher taxes. It doesn’t matter that the top two stories of her house have to be secured and immaculate because they are used as storage space for the art she buys and sells. It doesn’t matter that she needs the SUV to transport the art, or that she spent twice as much for a hybrid because she cares about the environment, or that she drives her motor home to art shows so that she can save money on hotel costs. It doesn’t matter that although she could make $10,000 on a single sale, she can also go for months with no sales at all, but because she is self-employed, she pays twice as much in social security taxes and isn’t eligible for unemployment benefits. Her neighbor doesn’t care that the $250,000 in her safe is a nest egg she has been building for years toward the dream of hiring two assistants with health benefits to run the business, focusing only on helping new artists achieve their dreams, while she sculpts full time to achieve her own.

So when the wealth gets redistributed through the government, her neighbor sees rich people just getting fewer luxuries like expensive art. She sees dreams withering on the vine.

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