Morality and Money: The Age-Old Leftist Argument

Once again, President Donald Trump is actually fulfilling his promises: as of the fall of 2017, he has proposed a beneficial tax reform to modify how Americans will both file and pay their taxes. The Left, of course, is both upset and shocked by the controversial President’s actions. In their fitful attempt at maintaining relevancy, the Left has pulled out an old trick that worked during the Obama years and gained nearly godlike status during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt years: the alleged toxic relationship between morality and money.

First off, what made FDR such a popular president within the heart of Americans (before the wallets of Americans) was that he made the negative correlation between one’s supply of money and one’s inherent morality a popular viewpoint. While this was certainly a viewpoint before FDR, he took advantage of it as the Great Depression devastated the United States. If one had a lot of money, that person was selfish and refused to share. This mindset worked, because to even think otherwise was considered mean-spirited and cruel. Well…no one wants to be mean-spirited and cruel, so make sure you vote for higher and more taxes, that way the money will go to the less-fortunate (not the unions that are being subsidized, keeping people out of work, and preventing the market from stabilizing, of course).

President Donald Trump’s tax reform has made several modest, yet potentially groundbreaking, proposals. Three of the most crucial changes are elimination of the estate tax, lowering the corporate tax rate, and making it easier to file your taxes. Every one of these proposals is simple enough for practically any American to understand, but they have the potential to cause changes that the average Leftist may see as a threat.

Elimination of the estate tax would be a huge win for Americans who wish to pass on money to their heirs. Contrary to what Leftists would have you believe, estate tax is not just for wealthy people. True, higher income individuals are likely to have more estate tax to pay since it is likely they have more to pass on within their estate. That doesn’t mean, however, that eliminating it only benefits the wealthy because many people of many socioeconomic backgrounds need to pay an estate tax. As someone who works in the financial and investment industry, my own personal experience has displayed that one of the number one concerns when a family member dies is, ‘what about the taxes’? While this is only anecdotal evidence, it is a valid concern that individuals have when receiving proceeds from a deceased loved one.

Lowering the corporate tax rate, from its 35% to 20%, would benefit American businesses immensely. It would allow them to bring jobs back on shore, it would allow corporations to provide for their employees in ways they would want to under normal circumstances, and it would overall help to improve the American economy. Business, free trade, is the backbone of America. Lower tax rates would allow the businesses to thrive and put more money into improving their products, services, and voluntary exchange. When one has the wiggle room to allow the free market to grow organically, the economy is permitted to thrive.

President Donald Trump has also proposed simplifying tax filing. This was a surprising and new proposal, and makes it so that the number of tax brackets shrink. If this passes, we would be able to see Americans who are less afraid of paying their taxes simply because of the daunting task of filling out those long and egregious tax forms. This would allow people to do their own taxes and reduce the potential for tax fraud (purposeful or accidental). We would be able to understand what we’re looking at and not feel cheated by a process that seems to be intentionally difficult.

What could possibly be wrong with these ideas, you may be wondering. They seem to fit within the American framework of business, and allow for positive economic growth by allowing money to be planted where it was earned. Yet, all you need to do is consider what would happen to the Leftists opposing these changes.

For one, paying higher taxes means that more money goes to business-stagnating unions. These unions lobby for Leftist politicians, who in turn keep the money out of the free market. Lack of free market mobility allows the government to step in, considering they are the primary source of the funds and can then use debt pressures within businesses to perform whatever kind of action they see fit. By forcing beneficiaries to pay estate taxes, they are reaping the benefits of hard-working individual’s funds they likely intended to pass on to a child or cherished spouse or a friend. By forcing corporations to pay high taxes, they are preventing free market growth and permitting corporatism to take precedence over laissez-faire capitalism. By making taxes difficult to file, they get to manipulate individuals into avoiding doing their own taxes for fear of making a mistake and incurring near-criminal penalties. The Leftist machine must be fed, and while they go about accusing businesses and the wealthy of being greedy, they are negligent (intentionally or unintentionally) to look into the mirror.

The Leftist antipathy to President Trump’s tax reform can truly be summed up into an FDR-style appeal to emotion. How dare one even suggest people should pay low taxes? If you even remotely suggest that, you must be a terrible person who hates poor people. If you don’t want to pay a lot of money in taxes, you are incredibly selfish and are just as greedy as all of those people on Wall Street.

The real litmus test here is one of the defining differences between the Left and the Right when it comes to the value of money. The Right sees money as a tool within the market process, its value has an inseparable relationship with market successes, and the amount you have is due to the number of successful voluntary transactions you have performed. Money is emotionless, colorless, classless, and completely neutral; free market process over government.

For the Left, money is indicative of moral standing: if you have a lot of it you are a bad person, if you have a little bit of it you are a good person because you are a victim of the bad rich person. Money is not emotionless, colorless, classless, or completely neutral. It is something that needs to be harshly regulated in an attempt to prefer government over the free market process to allocate it to wherever the government sees fit. While it may seem benevolent right now, with many Leftist politicians pushing for tax dollars to be used on the poor and the disadvantaged, a government that gives to the poor and the disadvantaged will have no legal obligation to continue to do so if they are the ones making the money rules.

Tax reform truly benefits everyone except Leftist politicians. It allows the poor to be hired by the rich and to improve their situation and keep their wealth mobility from stagnating. It allows the rich to continue improving America with their products and services. It truly brings people together as Americans, given that high tax rates and difficult tax processes only increase the class struggle that Leftists claim to rally against. Let’s continue to support Donald Trump’s tax reform and hope that whatever result comes from it will also improve business and wealth within the American economy.

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