Tax cut critics largely non-taxpayers

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

By By Terry Vogt – Member, Kendall County Republican Club
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
There has been much derision from some Democrats in regards to the Republican tax cuts and the "trickle down" theory of economic enhancement.
Those liberals feel that the tax cut favors the rich and does not give enough of a break to the lower economic classes.
A quote from George Bernard Shaw sums it up nicely, "A liberal s someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
To put the tax cut into perspective, let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, 10 men go out for dinner. The bill for all 10 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 $7, the eighth $12, the ninth
That's what they decided to do.
The 10 men ate dinner in the restaurant 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 meal by $20."
So now dinner for the 10 only cost $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 eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"
The six men 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 eat their meal.
So the restaurant 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 paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat 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 10th.
"But he got $7!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? 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 10th and beat him up. The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him.
But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the 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 at the table anymore.
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else – Frederic Bastiat (19th century French Philosopher)