(My Clovis News Journal column for April 24, 2015)
Many people want “the rich” punished through taxation. They are seeking to use government to steal from the rich on their behalf — knowing it would be wrong to take it in person.
Two of their favorite weapons are "estate taxes" and taxing "Big Business" more.
Perhaps they mistake the tax collector for Robin Hood. The irony is lost on them. Robin Hood didn't rob from the rich and give to the poor, as the socialist agenda has perverted the narrative. He reclaimed money from the thieves-- the tax collectors-- and returned it to its rightful owners.
The estate tax enthusiasts believe rich people got their wealth dishonestly, when this only applies to those who got rich through laws and theft, rather than through mutually consensual trade (where both parties always come out ahead). Those in politics and those using government to protect their business, while hobbling competition with regulations, are a problem.
Taxation is always theft. Nothing is so important that stealing to fund it is excusable. Stealing from the "rich" to benefit the underprivileged harms everyone. Once you have declared some amount of theft to be okay, any theft can be justified by someone.
Another problem is the belief in such a thing as "excessive profits". If you own a business try marking all your prices as high as you want, then let me know how it works out. Without a government-enforced monopoly (monopolies can't survive without being propped up by laws), customers aren't forced to do business with you. Either they will be willing to pay your price, or they'll make other arrangements, or do without.
Plus, businesses never get "taxed"- the costs are always passed along to the customer (that's you). Businesses either figure the cost of involuntarily supporting government into their cost of doing business, or they go out of business. Quickly. Whining to tax "big business" is begging to pay more for everything.
When the rich keep their money they buy things produced by people like you and me. They create jobs which employ you and me. Even if they do something crazy, like burying it in a hole in the ground, it is at least not being used against the productive people.
No matter how much you hate "the rich", or how they use their money, it is better to let them keep their property than to encourage the largest extortion racket in the world to rake in even more. Money which goes to government largely goes to finance a parasitic bureaucracy and to fund those blocking progress by preventing a free market.
Regardless the cause, you can't be generous with money which doesn't belong to you.