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The justification behind tax cuts for the wealthy

12/21/17 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Link: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/12/20/opinion/tax-bill-gop-democracy.html?login=email&auth=login-email

I don't know why - there is nothing new here - but for some reason this article caused me to have a small epiphany behind the reasoning conservatives use for tax cuts. I think it was borne out of realizing that there was a fear of taxing us into mediocrity -- in light of the communist (aka proletariat) threat of the 50's. The one thing that made America great was its industry.

The fly in the ointment is democracy: can't have pesky unwashed masses voting themselves entitlements that detract from the greatness of the thing that made America great: corporations and the wealthy. A perfect modernist manifest destiny!

Thus the party of the wealthy becomes anti-democratic. There is outrage among all except those who believe this ideology. There, outrage is inconsequential because they believe in their mission, and thus aren't ashamed of anti-democratic policies, and tax cuts for the wealthy. In fact they believe these are moral imperatives for society to survive!

In the 20th century, and in particular after World War II, with voting rights and Soviet Communism on the march, the risk that wealthy democracies might redistribute their way to serfdom had never seemed more real. Radical libertarian thinkers like Rand and Murray Rothbard (who would be a muse to both Charles Koch and Ron Paul) responded with a theory of absolute property rights that morally criminalized taxation and narrowed the scope of legitimate government action and democratic discretion nearly to nothing. “What is the State anyway but organized banditry?” Rothbard asked. “What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked scale?”

The hostility to redistributive democracy at the ideological center of the American right has made standard policies of successful modern welfare states, happily embraced by Europe’s conservative parties, seem beyond the moral pale for many Republicans. The outsize stakes seem to justify dubious tactics — bunking down with racists, aggressive gerrymandering, inventing paper-thin pretexts for voting rules that disproportionately hurt Democrats — to prevent majorities from voting themselves a bigger slice of the pie.

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