I got this comment from Tony.
This chart from the Congressional Budget Office says it all:
Even when I think he wrong, I usually find Tony’s comments intelligent. This one? No. First of all, that chart is not from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Because the CBO serves Congress — all of its members — they at least have to appear to avoid taking sides. This chart clearly involves taking sides.
As the figure notes, it is only based upon CBO estimates; the CBO did not produce the silly thing.
Who did produce the silly thing? Ironically, that outfit calls itself the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Yet, as a Socially Liberal outfit, the CBPP opposes limited government, thereby helping to prevent Congress from setting budget priorities.
Here is the type of “praise” the CBPP posts about itself.
“Among the alphabet soup of think tanks and partisan advocacy groups covering tax and budget issues, the CBPP has carved out a niche as being socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and academically rigorous.”
– CQ Today (from here)
What is wrong with the chart? From it we are suppose to draw the conclusion that our taxes are too low. Yet that conclusion is absurdly false. Why? We have already reached the point where raising taxes does not produce more revenue.
Let’s consider an analogy. In biology we learn that there are symbionts, parasites, and carnivores.
symbiont (sĭm’bē-ŏnt’, -bī-) or symbiote (sĭm’bē-ŏnt’, -bī-)
An organism in a symbiotic relationship. In cases in which a distinction is made between two interacting organisms, the symbiont is the smaller of the two and is always a beneficiary in the relationship, while the larger organism is the host and may or may not derive a benefit. See also host, parasite.
When government is limited in size and scope, it acts as a symbiont. Through taxation it feeds off the economy. In an ideal world a limited government strives only to maintain order, seeking principally to protect the rights of the people, and when government does protect the rights of the people, it does a great deal of good. In any event, when it is small, government does very little harm.
An organism that lives on or in a different kind of organism (the host) from which it gets some or all of its nourishment. Parasites are generally harmful to their hosts, although the damage they do ranges widely from minor inconvenience to debilitating or fatal disease.
When government grows is size and scope, it begins to function as a parasite. Because it produces nothing of economic value — except order — government can only feed on the economy; it cannot contribute to it. Thus, as government grows in size, like a parasite, it can harm the economy.
The most “cleverly designed” parasite allows its victim to survive indefinitely. In fact, because the demise of its host is detrimental to its own existence, the most cleverly designed “parasite” functions as a symbiont.
An animal that feeds chiefly on the flesh of other animals. Carnivores include predators such as lions and alligators, and scavengers such as hyenas and vultures. In a food chain, carnivores are either secondary or tertiary consumers. Compare detritivore, herbivore.
Unlike a parasite, a carnivore destroys it victim. Unlike a parasite, a carnivore can hunt down new victims. Yet here, it seems, is where the analogy fails. How can a government hunt down a new economy to prey upon? Unfortunately, the answer is age old. What do we call the hunting and feeding methodology of a carnivorous government? We call it warfare.
The worst tyrants cannot sate their appetite for power. For that reason they will mold their people into armies, and they will seek other peoples to conquer.
As I noted in this post, THE MYTH OF THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, fiscal conservatism is incompatible with Social Liberalism. What the Liberal fails to realize — what the Utopian refuses to accept — is that once we give our government the right to redistribute the wealth, instead of protecting our property rights, our leaders will take our property.
When we refuse to accept the principle that charity is an individual, personal responsibility, we risk subverting our government. When we give our government the right to redistribute the property of “others”, we make that government the worst possible threat to our own rights.