Monday, September 29, 2008

A Response to Kathleen Parker Regarding Her Willingness to Throw Palin Under the Bus

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has been quite vocal recently about her growing distaste for Sarah Palin. She claims that while Palin has an encouraging story and some executive experience, she is "clearly out of her league".

"Out of her league?" Barack Obama has spent the majority of his time in the senate campaigning for President. Despite his single mindedness, Obama has rarely communicated a coherent or concrete policy during this time, especially when found without a teleprompter (this video is highly recommended). Joe Biden has also run for president, and is one to continually put his foot in his mouth along the way as Parker readily admits . So then, what exactly comprises this "league" that Palin is out of? A common theme within said league seems to be policy confusion, power gluttony, and rhetorical posturing with technically correct but practically bankrupt language. What is missing is a degree of consistency, character and practical common sense. In that case, to be "in the league" is not necessarily a good thing.

Palin has largely remained consistent on her own positions, which is a good explanation for her few moments of contradicting McCain (they are different people, after all). Obama and Biden flip flop on their issues with unrivaled frequency. Their degree of free-form waffling does not show a calculated change of position stemming from better information, but rather reveals a lack of any solid stance in the first place. Moreover, as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky and Antonio Gramsci- political monsters who Obama tends to emulate- lying about anything, even voting records, is acceptable if it is for the greater common good (whatever one deems that to be).

Parker also implies that the economic crisis has shown Palin to be a liability. This seems to be a slight overreaction to Palin's (as well as the majority of Washington's) apparent uncertainty. To be careful, even overly so, in stating one's position on such an extraordinarily complex situation is far better than being ill-informed and hasty! Further, Let us not make the mistake of believing that Obama and Biden somehow understand how the economy functions. Obama's plan to heavily tax the rich and give to the poor(er) will cause the rich, who are typically the suppliers of jobs, to lose so much money that they have to lay off multitudes of the supposedly protected middle class. Biden emphatically supports this. Obama's plan is only founded upon economic ignorance; it is a literal recipe for disaster.

I am uncertain what Parker's goal is in shining the spotlight on Palin's mistakes. Palin is not perfect, but what is Parker's proposed alternative? Is oratory everything? Does policy not make a difference? Does she realize that many conservative readers may flirt with abandoning the McCain/Palin ticket as a result of her unqualified criticism? Palin may have had some media-neophyte problems, such as being awkwardly cautious in her responses so as to avoid making a recorded mistake, but at least she does not seem to carry a dramatically elevated view of herself, and does not appear to compromise her own solidly grounded positions on a whim. Thus I say to Parker, let's certainly be honest about the candidates. But we should not seek honesty without the aid of common sense, for then we become strategically reckless.

21 comments:

Doug Groothuis said...

Sarah:

I agree with your observations and concerns. Parker was premature and uncharitable. Moveover, she was very unstrategic in these sharp comments. Does she want to embolden Obama supporters, to despirit McCain folks? Maybe she is being more emotive than rational in writing this. If so, blow off stream to your husband; don't write about it for millions of people.

The Palin debate with Joe Biden may be a turning point for Sarah Palin. I am praying hard about that, as should all Christians. I thnk Palin is bright and real. If she is up to speed and prayed up, she may turn some heads (in a new way)!

Daniel said...

"Obama's plan to heavily tax the rich and give to the poor(er) will cause the rich, who are typically the suppliers of jobs, to lose so much money that they have to lay off multitudes of the supposedly protected middle class. Biden emphatically supports this."

The progressive tax system that you're talking about taxes the personal accounts of these extremely wealthy individuals--- not their companies. There's no way that the company that hires middle class and lower class folk will be hurt over this tax. Only the stupendously rich executives will be forking over the dough; again, out of their personal banking accounts. I know, it's a shame that they can't buy another Roles Royce or home in the Hampton's this year. Times are tough.

The progressive tax plan is more fair, and I would argue more Biblical, than a "flat rate tax". Why should a single mom who works two shifts as a waitress six days a week have to pay the same percentage of her meager income as Bill Gates? Absurdity cubed.

If you or Doug want to show me how a flat rate tax is more Christian than a progressive tax system I'm all ears and open to be persuaded. I don't see it though.

Justin Geis said...

Daniel - I think you have left something very important out of your analysis of Obama's tax plan. In addition to taxing the rich at a higher rate, Obama's plan takes that money and uses it to pay for special programs for lower income people. While this might sound like helping the poor, it is also socialism.

You can argue that it is more "Christian" to take money from the wealthy to provide services for the poor, but this is not Christian at all. What if I took your wallet from you, took all the money out, and used it to buy food for a homeless person on the street? The homeless person will be happy for a while (until he has eaten the food, but this is another argument), but I still stole from you. Charity is a Christian concept, but it's only charity if given willingly, not taken by force.

Sarah Geis said...

Daniel,

I'll add to what Justin said. While it is noble to be concerned for the best interests of the less-than-rich, I am convinced that the progressive tax plan (socialist economics) is not the wonderful thing that many Christians seem to think it is.

1) It is not up to the government to determine who has too much money and what they should do with it.

2)Not all wealthy folks buy Rolls Royces or have homes in the Hamptons. In fact, I personally know families who give more than half of their very large incomes to the church, missions organizations, and the like. It is often wealthy people's money that allows large donations to be made organizations that desparately need it for the cause of Christ.

3) For all we know, these people started out with absolutely nothing and worked hard for the "stupendously" large amount of money they make. How does redistribution reward hard work?

4) In a world governed by progressive taxation, what would the motivation be for the single mother you mentioned to work hard if all it is going to get her is less benefits?

While we certainly need economic reform, progressive taxation is not charity, nor is it reform. It is something different entirely.

Gabrielle said...

Hello all. I whole heartedly agree with you Sarah and Justin. I mean by the current tax laws and those proposed by the democrats, my parents are considered "rich". My mom works very hard to make ends meet much of the time because their tax braket is so freaking high. And about a mile down the street there is a new housing project that they opened that's sole purpose is to house poor black families. (As an aside this is not a racist comment but what the rule book for the project actually says). Why is it fair for those people most of whom do not work and live on welfare to live in our neighborhood? They did not spend 40 years doing hard work to make their money. They simply have a certain skin color.

The statement made by Daniel sums up what in my mind is the biggest problem with America today. There is this sense of entitlement that Americans feel which I see to be the basis of all problems that we are having economically right now. Like the war in Iraq there is no good way out of this situation. The economic strife has been building for years, I would argue since the Great Depression. It is simple business principle, you cannot pay back a loan with another loan. It is not the governments job to bail the American public out of a problem that is our own faults. Clearly it hasn't worked on any real level in the past and it will not work this time. I mean welfare was started with the good intention of helping us out of a horrible recession and then being done away with. What did we end up with?? Thousands of people on the dole to this day who have no life skills, they never plan on having a job or developing life skills, and they pass this sense of entitlement onto their children. This is just one example of my theory and beyond my point, I tend to digress. Back to the entitlement issue. Just because you are an American does NOT entitle you to own a home. I mean when my parents went to buy their first house the bank said, well Mr. and Mrs. Tarantino we see that you are buying a house that costs $100,000 but we approved you for a house that cost $500,000. My parents being responsible people said well we cant afford to pay for a loan of $500,000 so we went with something we could pay back. This is not what, I would venture to say seeing as the housing market crashed, most Americans do. They say OH!! 500,000 well we could go live in that more posh neighborhood over there and we really want to so here we go!! This has happened all to often and hey sorry, you deserve to lose your house. You couldn't afford it in the first place!! These banks should be allowed to fail because they made poor business decisions. Any other type of business that fails just gets to fail. The government doesn't stand on their door step say here small business owner here is some money to help you keep going even though you made less than wise decisions as to how you were spending the money you already got.

This brings me to my next point. Who do you think is going to pay for this 700 billion dollar bail out??? We are in increased taxes! The so called "upper/middle class" which most all of us who have a college degree and a job are considered to be a part of. The poor people most of whom don't pay taxes won't suffer any more or any less than they would on any other day. But us average Joe Taxpayer people are going to get slammed bailing out these banks who were to dumb to keep their business a float. There are protctions in place to keep a Great Depression from happening again and we will bounce back. There is no reason I should have to pay to help someone who couldnt loan their money in a responsible way out of bankruptcy! When I got myself into debt Uncle Sam didn't sand outside my door saying Gabrielle here is a check for the 10,000 you owe!

Anyway now to get off my soap box. The American public needs to just wade through this. It is not easy. Trust me, I can't find a job right now and have been looking for MONTHS!! But instead of going to the bank and taking a loan to have an apartment, I moved back in with my parents. Us pulling ourselves out of this and not relying on the government is what needs to happen. You can always add power but you can never take it away once it is given. This is a truism that my father taught me about the government. No amount of politic-ing about the economy on any parties part is going to make a difference. This is a simple pull yourself by your boot straps and suck it up and get the job done kinda situation. We as Americans are entitled to Life, Liberty, and the Prusit of Happiness. No where in there does it say anything about and some money handed to you on a silver platter or assurance that you will have a house or you will be extremely wealthy or anything material at all! The entitlement issue needs to stop and us Americans need to do what it takes to take care of ourselves!

Sorry to pull attention even further onto economics! I did love your article Sarah. Also forgive any spelling and punctuation mistakes, I was typing heatedly and fast and tried to proofread but my eyes are getting tired!

Sarah Geis said...

I forgot to add one thing to Daniel's rebuttal:

Regarding the claim that taxing the private accounts of executives will have no effect on their companies:

This is false (respectfully- I do appreciate your comment). The business owners typically purchased and operate their businesses using their own personal funds. Personal accounts and company money have much overlap at that level. How much money they personally lose has everything to do with how many people they can afford to pay. If they feel crunched, they will let workers go.

Gabby,

Thanks. I agree, macroeconomics is not the area to play the "redistribution for the sake of equality" game.

Daniel said...

Justin,

Your scenario does not line up logically. It's a false dichotomy. There is a massive difference between the incomes of me and someone like Bill Gates. The tax plan is to the VERY wealthy, of which I am not.

Obviously if you were to take money out of my wallet and give it to a homeless person that would have a fairly substantial effect on me. But it wouldn't for Bill Gates. So again, I still see that this Robin Hood sort of mentality is Biblical. And frankly, are we not ALL (regardless of income level) called to give and minister to the poor, regardless of our financial situation? I'm quite sure that is Biblical.

Daniel said...

Sarah,

I'll respond to your points with my own:

1. Absolutely! But I don't see what that has to do with this discussion. The government does decide "tax brackets" though, so in a sense they are determining the level of tax people pay.

2. Absolutely again, I couldn't agree more. I'm from the Vail area so I know rich people and have been around rich people all my life. Some of them give very generously, others do not. But again, the kind of income bracket that Obama wants to tax can certainly live without some of the material that they have. Regardless of kindness of heart and willingness to give, rich people are still fallen people like the rest of us and have an innate desire for material goods. I'm stating this fact from my own experience of interacting with the richest of the rich in this world.

3. You're describing my own parents situation. They are by no means rich, but they have worked incredibly hard and deserve everything they have. How does redistribution of wealth work in this situation? How can it be just? Well, Biblical stewardship tells us "to whom much is given much is required." I would argue that God has blessed people with wealth, yes it's a blessing! But when people's hearts are aligned with the cause of Christ, they can't do anything EXCEPT yearn to give, more and more.

4. I'm not sure what you're getting at there. What does benefits have to do with this?

I will close this comment by saying that I am not a socialist, nor am I a capitalist! I am a member of the Kingdom of God whose call it is to be radically different from the world. Socialism and capitalism are products of this world, which is deeply fallen. As Christians we need to think as in God's economy, not man's. Let us be adherers to no worldly economic or political system, but rather be powerful change agents as members of God's Kingdom.

Daniel said...

Gabrielle,

"The statement made by Daniel sums up what in my mind is the biggest problem with America today."

Yes, those single moms working double shifts have a real entitlement problem. Shame on them.

Come on Gabrielle, people have basic human rights. And one of those human rights (at least according to the Constitution) is to live life in pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You can't tell me that a single mom working double shifts is loving life. If you want to pull the "entitlement" card, fine; I'll say that single moms working double shifts are "entitled" to basic human rights and live a fulfilling life.

Daniel said...

To Sarah's second comment:

Yes, for entrepreneurial situations and small businesses. But CEO's and executives who come in to conglomerated mega-corporations don't put a cent into it, unless of course it's stock. But regarding that, the stock market is a gamble and anyone playing that game should recognize the possibility of failure.

I'm all for entrepreneurship, a big BIG supporter. But if the business owner of a small company is wise they will differentiate their personal assets (liquidated or otherwise) and their business assets. So then, the owner who might be "making a lot" of money because their business makes a lot of money won't get taxed out of their personal bank accounts.

Personal example: My dad used to own a small business with assets around three-quarter million. Everything was in the name of a separate entity (which he was the sole propriator of) so that the business would be taxed and not his personal bank account--- which had substantially less than what the company as a whole made in revenue.

Gabrielle said...

Daniel,

I would say that most of those single mothers, especially the ones struggling day to day to make ends meet, probably had no business having a kid in the first place. Responsible parenting is making sure that you can care for and afford a child BEFORE you get to the point of conception. I did not decide to jump in the sack what that man and get pregnate at 15 and keep the baby. I have plenty of friends who made the responsible choice of giving that baby up for adoption. There are thousands of American couples BEGGING to have a child from someone when they can't have one of their own. When I hear about these single mom's who have 5 kids all by a different father I have a hard time feeling sorry for them. It is all about responsibility.

Now I do have some friends where the father left the family and the mother struggled to make bill payments because the father refused to pay child support. In this case yes i do think that the government should help, but 9 times out of 10 they do not help this "working mom" because she falls into a high tax braket and is labeled as some one who makes enough money to support herself and her children. If we tax the rich to give to the poor this struggeling mother of two, who had her children responsibly, she is only going to be taxed more to pay for those other mothers who have the 5 kids by 5 different men. One of my best friends, his mother and father divorced and he didnt always pay child support on time or at all but because she made 40,000 a year (not nearly enough for a family of three to live on) she was considered to be well off enough to be taxed at a high rate and could barely make ends meet at the end of the year. Plus the child support she was supposed to be getting was added into that even though the check didnt always make it!

This is not fair at all!! I don't want to pay for someone's irresponsibility, and neither does that single mom! At least with a flat tax everyone who works pays the same amount percentage wise and that responsible single mom who can barely make ends meet won't be put in a tax braket she cannot afford.

I'm all for helping out my fellow man. But when that fellow man is to stupid to come in out of the rain, I have a hard time feeling sorry for them when they get sick.

Most of those men and women who have millions of dollars had the where-with-all to make that money. Most of them it didnt fall into their laps and it took years of hard work and 80 hour weeks to make it. It is no one's right to take it away from him just because he had the brains to make a great invention. Most of these millionairs as Sarah I believe said are some of the most generous people arond giving to charities and churches and organizations that have nothing to do with the government but who actually do something to help those struggeling. When did it become to governments job to take care of us?? What sense of pride does that instill in people when they just have money handed to them?? Why happened to that huge "surplus" that happened when Bill Clintion was president? Did he give it to those hard working men and women of America?? No!!!! It stayed in the coffers of the government! The government needs no more money, they dont spend it any more responsibly than those banks! Plus he who has the gold makes the rules. If you wanna go see what happens when the money gets taken from the rich and given to the poor by the government, go visit China or Germany and see what really happens when you give power hungry men power over billions of their peoples dollars. In both of those countries and I'm sure others, the people truly are MISERABLE! There are no rich who can create jobs and everybody is at the whim of the government. They are trying to afford apartments that are so high they have nothing left when it is over. This is what happens when the money is given to the government. Thousands of people actually do starve to death daily, have no roof over their heads. Where as here all you have to do is go to your local church and someone will take care of you!

Flat-tax is the way to go to get out of this mess, not a 700 billion dollar bail-out that the so called "rich" will take care of.

Daniel said...

Gabrielle,

Your entire response was a giant red herring logical fallacy. It's not for us to judge whether they are irresponsible or not with their life. The issue here is whether the government should lend a helping hand.

Moreso, I don't know if you're a Christian but as a Christian myself it is irrelevant what I think about how other people have run their lives. My only job is to love them, show them the grace and mercy of God, and help them in any way that I can. That includes, but is not sufficient to, giving tax breaks when tax breaks are desperately needed.

Gabrielle said...

Daniel,

I do consider myself a Christian, but not a blind one. It is my job to give to the church and the poor, not the government. I am to obey the laws of my government, as I do, but not to not correct them when they might be wrong. That is my job as an American, to tell the government when they are doing something I don’t agree with. Jesus himself challenged his religious and political leaders and died for doing so. Am I not called to do the same? Living in a “secular” country means that the government does not get to play the role that churches should be filling. This should be a wake up call to all Christians that we need to give more and do more within our own country to ensure that our brothers and sisters are taken care of. Maybe we should bring more missionaries to America and stop sending everyone to Africa and Asia. I see a need here just as much as the needs in those other countries.
My job as a Christian is to love those around me unconditionally as I do. However my being Christian does not call for me to accept and condone whatever those around me are doing and call it right and good just because they claim to be Christian as well. It is also not my job as a Christian to bail out those around me who made poor decisions. I am not passing judgment on those who have 5 children by different fathers but if you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, yeah the Bible says that is WRONG!!!
Also as a Christian my only job is not just to love those around me but to help guide and support them on their spiritual path to God. If that means tough love occasionally for those who are less than responsible then I see it as my Christianly duty to call someone on it. If we do not use those around us to guide and correct our moral compass then what is the point of the religious community which we are also directed by God to foster and grow? Being a Christian is not about fuzzy feel-goods all the time. Sometimes it is about doing what is right in the face of everything else that is wrong.
As for the government, just because our leader calls himself Christian does not mean that he practices the politics of God. I think God looks down on this whole situation and weeps daily for what has been lost. God in the Bible suggests that I tithe a certain amount to my church that looks startlingly like a flat tax percentage. He does not say if you are rich you have to give more and if you are poor you are off the hook go party. It is nice for those who can afford it to give more but everyone is on an equal playing field to start. It is like the story of the showy people who were making a big deal of how much they gave and the widow who gave her last penny. Giving to those who need it should be done in private and no one should be forced to do it because that in and of itself defeats the purpose of giving and charity.
It would be nice to think that a tax break would solve our problems, but it won’t. This country needs a complete 360 to correct the things that are wrong. Beginning with a true turn back to true Christianity, not this fluffy mumbo-jumbo Joel Osteen crap. I would like to think that politicians would begin to see this at some point but I fear that most of them are too power hungry to change anything. The change must begin with the people, which is where all change truly begins. But change cannot occur when everyone is so complacent to say well, just let the government take care of it, just let someone else take care of it. I don’t recall the Bible ever saying anything about not taking responsibility for ones actions. In fact it calls for you to recognize this and admit you are at fault and receive help from those willing to give it. It’s called sin. Being forgiven does not give you carte blanche and all consequences for your actions are gone. You have to deal with the consequences to and the Bible calls for us to do that. Being complacent about all the things that are wrong, allowing others to take care of them and just hoping that they will go away is not the Christian way to do anything. Peter stood by and did nothing while Jesus was being crucified by his government. Complacency kills.

God's Dancing Child said...

Well, there's always the Constitution Party. ;)
(Both Republican and Democratic parties are making me sick these days - they say they are different, but do the same things in reality.)

Daniel said...

Honestly I opted not to read your whole comment Gabrielle. Perhaps a paraphrase is in order? Writing comments on blogs is exactly that--- comments, not diatribal essays.

Plus, there was enough to respond to in your first, er, "paragraph" to write a novel on, but I'll pass because you're not intellectually engaging the issues. The emotion in your replies is seeping unhealthily.

Sarah Geis said...

Daniel,

Sorry for the delay, but there are times when busyness in the real world calls for stepping away from the blog world.

Also, as blogs are an extremely poor medium for the intricacies of disagreement, I will not pursue this much further here but may write another post regarding Christians and economics. No promises, though.

Without addressing your counterpoints too specifically (there simply isn't time!) I will give a few all-too-brief general responses.

1) Brother, please be careful that you do not use the truth that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God against your fellow believers who operate with the conviction that the left generally promotes a platform deadly to basic and necessary human freedoms. While I hear you and passionately agree, our citizenship remains dual; we are still in the world.

2) Stealing is stealing, no matter how much money the theft victim has. Beyond this, the progressive taxation plan harms the chances of folks learning out of necessity how to make what little money they have work for them or how to take responsibility for their own money.

3) From a Christian standpoint, charity is far more focused and effective when coming from the private sector. Combating Christian greed does not and should not cross over into macroeconomics, as the U.S. Government is not a Christian organization and therefore does not have the same goals as believing citizens. We simply cannot guarantee that when they take our money it will be given to organizations that we should or would want to support.

4) Lastly, as one overarching thing that I want to emphasize, the Bible informs Christians of how we are to orient our minds, and from that our time, energy, and resources. What the Bible does not do is give us a party to choose, or address what political philosophy is the "most Biblical". The private sector and the state are two different realms, and we should not blur the boundary between the two and should continue to understand the function of each.

Daniel said...

Hi Sarah,

"While I hear you and passionately agree, our citizenship remains dual; we are still in the world."

This is our fundamental disagreement--- how ought Christians and the Church be "in the world but not of it"? I lean heavily towards an Anabaptist approach of "against the world for the sake of the world." This ideology can also be found in the Patristics, and I would argue, the Gospels...heavily in John especially. If we want to discuss this, then we can go from there.

"Stealing is stealing, no matter how much money the theft victim has."

I agree, but paying taxes is not stealing. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Again, the issue here is who should be paying how much taxes?

Your third point: Yes! That's what I'm saying. Why should we give to the government the funds for what the Church should be doing? Why should we trust the world to do heavenly business? The Church shouldn't be paving roads and creating infrastructure. Why then are Conservatives so bent up about having the government clean up a moral atrocity (abortion); a job that the Church should be doing by changing the hearts and minds of the individual women?

This is what I don't get-- conservatives want to eradicate abortion (and so do I!)...and they want the government to do it...but then say the Church needs to step up to the plate on issues like this. Well which is it? The government or the Church? Both? It's a fine line to cross over into either camp if you say both.

"What the Bible does not do is give us a party to choose, or address what political philosophy is the "most Biblical"."

Amen Sarah, now you're understanding me! This is why I'm neither Republican nor Democrat and why I put the Kingdom of God above any worldly political system. And I would encourage all Christians to seriously consider taking the same route. My question is: if you really believe this, why do you tote the Republican party so heavily? If you're saying the Republican party is the be all end all and the Democrats are evil doers, then you can't make that statement above.

Your move-- I'm curious about your response.

David Strunk said...

Hey Sarah and Daniel both,
I haven't read through all of the posts but feel like I got a good flavor of it.

How about this? No income tax at all. No tax on food, milk, or gas- these are the things that affect poor folks the most. And then, a significant consumption tax. That should curb overconsumption (and the debt mess we see ourselves in), it's also compassionate towards the poor, and it's also completely fair to poor and rich alike. If the rich want to consume more, than they'll pay more.

Sarah Geis said...

Dave,

I vote "yea" on that one!

Daniel said...

And with no tax comes no schools, roads, military, infrastructure etc etc.

I really hope you're not serious.

Gabrielle said...

Sorry, I can't resist, I sent this to Sarah but I believe it is impoartant to this conversation. I did not write this but whole heartedly understand where it is coming from and agree with it. I just do not have the eloquence to write it myself! It was posted on the Straw Poll on AOL.


Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes,it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,’ but he got $10!’

‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I got’

‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’

‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works!!

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia