Friday, June 17, 2011

10 Reasons Some Give Not to Tax the Rich. And Why Some Think These Reasons Are Bad. And Why Both Sides Are Misguided.

Before I begin, I'd like to state that I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat nor a Libertarian. I'm a born again Christian, and I vote likewise, in ways that don't neatly fall into any of these categories. So it's not possible to pigeonhole me. I love ALL of the Bible, especially the commands to feed the poor. But those are not the only verses in the Bible. I'll explain later.

Also, I pledge not to be contrarian for the sake of being right. If Mr. Buchheit has a valid point I will definitely say so.

We hear them all the time, the reasons for unrestricted capitalism, minimal government, lower taxes for the rich. So often that many Americans start to believe them. But the facts and common sense reveal good reasons NOT to NOT tax the rich.

(1) The rich deserve what they earn because of hard work and initiative.

They use other people's money to create assets that don't exist and then bet on them to fail. It seems like twisted humor, but it's real, all part of the murky world of derivatives and credit default swaps. Those who make the most money avoid taxes by calling their income "carried interest" instead of income.

Others not directly involved in financial chicanery still make out well. The stock market has grown 7 times faster than America's GDP since 1981, and two-thirds of the country's stocks are owned by the wealthiest 1% of Americans. That's not enough for some CEOs, though. For many of them it's 'legal' to backdate their stock options to a time in the past when the price was higher.

My response: Yes, there are some who are criminals. But if you tax them all, wouldn't you punish those who legitimately work hard as well? Isn't that what the justice system is for?

I fear that many who would be compassionate toward the poor feel as though the justice system isn't working, so without realizing it they take justice into their own hands by manipulating the tax system. Wouldn't you agree this is true?

(2) It's not fair to "soak the rich."

It's been just the opposite for the past 30 years.

Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, if the average middle-income family had just maintained its share of America's productivity held in 1980, it would be making $10,000 more per year ($45,000 instead of $35,000). Some estimates are much higher, up to $30,000 more per year based on Bureau of Labor statistics.

In 1980 the richest 1% got one out of every fifteen income dollars. Thanks to tax cuts and deregulation, they now get THREE out of every fifteen dollars. They already had a big slice of pie, then they cut a second piece, and then a THIRD piece.

My response: I don't understand why the "fair" argument matters on either side, except that as stated before, it's not fair to punish those amongst the rich who are hard workers. Isn't it far more important that tax loopholes be closed (more on that later), that the government's budget deficits be met, that those who legitimately work hard not be punished, that the poor not be oppressed unjustly, and that the government not become a bloated, far-reaching nanny state?

Meanwhile, every U.S. taxpayer contributes about $600 a year to pay for the tax cuts that give $34,000 a year to each of the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

My response: Hmm I'm not clear on this one. This statement should have been backed up with facts.

And now a trillion dollars of public money is used to bail out the failing banking system

My response: I don't like this, either. I am not a fan of bailing out banks. They are NOT too big to fail; that's socialist thinking from Republicans. Let the poor performers fail; we'll all suffer in the short run but my grandchildren will have a more hopeful future.

(3) "Spreading the wealth" and "redistribution" are other names for socialism.

Not socialism, but social responsibility. Taxes support public infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water treatment systems, railroads. Public money is used to invest in research and development for science and technology.

My response: Not social responsibility, but socialism! Redefining terms doesn't change what it is. Just call a spade a spade.

This is a misdirected answer, I think by mistake. The question is about redistributing wealth to the poor, not about building water treatment systems. When you force people to be generous toward the poor it is essentially socialism, no matter what you call it. I'm betting that Mr. Buchheit simply wasn't aware of this.

Much of the tax burden disproportionately benefits the rich: property laws protect private property and capital investment; trade pacts and national defense policies are designed to protect wealth. Bill Gates, Sr. explains, "The government that protects their business activities...that's what creates capital and enables net worth to increase."

My response: My respect to Mr. Gates Sr. for his charity. I want to be like him in that way. He's correct, the government does pay the rich back in benefits.

But are there are less oppressive ways to achieve the same ends?

It is those same property laws which protect private property and capital investment, and trade pacts and national defense policies which give people the comfort level needed to invest their money in the first place. Consider the growing prosperity of Singapore, considered one of the world's easiest places to start a business. The business world is gravitating towards this small country thanks to their unoppressive policies and low taxes. The once poor of Singapore are finding more opportunities to get ahead with so many businesses in their back yard to work for. (Though I'm sure not every poor person has benefited.)

You want to make people comfortable enough to invest. It is a good idea. If you take away the comfort, they will vote with their feet. Would you rather open a business in North Korea or South Korea?

(4) The great wealth of the rich stimulates the economy.

Low-income earners have a higher "Marginal Propensity to Consume," which means that they spend a greater percentage of their overall income on consumption. High-income earners, on the other hand, will save more. The very rich in our country have put much of their money into mansions, yachts, jewels, and art.

My response: And buying a mansion doesn't employ low-class construction workers? How about low-income drywall factory workers? Hungry lumberjacks and struggling marble craftsmen?

Buying a yacht doesn't provide wealth for a boat builder, harbor workers or a yacht pilot?

Does the money which diamond mine workers make go back into a bottomless pit somewhere in the mine?

Are there no starving artists?

Does eating a hamburger stimulate economic growth more than building a boat?

Statements about mansions and artwork don't go far enough.

And yes, high-income earners do save more. But does that necessarily drag down the economy? It gives them flexibility in rainy days. Good foresight.

The money they save is typically deposited in some interest-bearing account. The bank re-invests these assets elsewhere. The rich do not usually have a giant mattress; they're usually smarter than that.

The rich aren't stupid. They're either smart or they hire smart people, so as to make the most of what they have. The poor do benefit from their spending and saving. Mr. Buchheit is misdirecting here, I believe by mistake. Everyone needs the resourceful rich and the hard-working middle class and the poor who are hungry for opportunity.

Besides, placing an emphasis on consumption has dragged our nation into deeper debt and reduced the finite resources we have. Read about Peak Oil/Soil/Water/Phosphorus/Coal/Uranium/Everything sometime, it'll scare the pants off you.

The world needs more savers. It is a smart idea.

An analysis by the Congressional Budget Service ranked 11 strategies to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Cutting taxes for the rich was ranked lowest.

My response: This may be true. But it must equally be noted that, while this strategy maybe the lowest ranked, it is still a viable, working strategy, so don't think it won't work at all. The best approach may be a balanced attack on many fronts.

The top 500 non-financial companies are currently holding $2 trillion in cash that could be used to create jobs and stimulate new business.

My response: So these responsible companies hold on to their money. Good. They're savers for a rainy day. It is perfectly within their right to hold onto their own money. When times get harder for them, as I predict they will, that money will then begin to flow.

They're not saving that money to make paper hats, are they?

And, I'm sure the money is on deposit in some interest-bearing account, which does in fact benefit others. See above.

The U.S. government could learn a thing or two from these top companies. They didn't make it to the top by being stupid.

(5) Large incomes provide incentive for success.

Some hedge fund managers 'earned' enough money in one year to pay the salaries of every police officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in Chicago. A system that allows one man to divert the salaries of 50,000 public workers to his own pockets has gone well beyond "incentive-based."

My response: Mr. Buchheit is mistaken.

For those rich hedge fund managers, obviously the greater and greater and greater wealth is an incentive, else they wouldn't continue pursuing it. Maybe they want to drive a Lamborghini? Maybe they want to ensure their children and their children's children are well taken care of?

I'm not going to argue that it's not greed or pride pushing them on, but that's another debate. The point is, there's obviously an incentive.

Reputable studies show that life expectancy and 'happiness' increase very little after a certain threshold is reached. That threshold is about $75,000 per family.

My response: Isn't it up to the individual to determine whether he's truly happy? Aren't you glad that the government isn't in the business of regulating happiness?

As I will explain in the addendum, these studies, with their "threshold of happiness and life expectancy," can't possibly be the same for everyone. I'm grateful this isn't dictated to me by some bureaucrat.

And what if I wanted to earn more to save up to pay for the life expectancy and happiness of my children and grandchildren? That threshold wouldn't apply at all. I'd need to make much more than $75,000. I draw the usefulness of such studies into question.

(6) The very rich pay it back through taxes.

They pay less than 23% of their incomes in federal income tax. If state and local taxes, social security tax, and excise taxes are included, the lowest-earning half of America pays 24% of their incomes in taxes, almost as much as the richest 1%.

My response: Here's a fact I find no problems with.

The top tax rate has gone from 90% in 1960, to 70% in 1972, to 50% in 1984 50, to 40% in 1996, to 35% in 2008. But much of billionaires' earnings is subject to only a 15% tax because of a loophole that allows hedge fund income not to be called income.

My response: Maybe this is true, but are there some such as the elderly who live on hedge fund income?

About the higher rates. Let's take the example of 90%. Would you really want to struggle to the top, only to find that you get to keep one out of ever ten dollars you earn? If it takes ten times as much effort to increase your income by one unit of measure, is it really worth it? You'll find that those who aren't driven by greed (they are out there) will simply stop working harder, thus dragging down the economy. Heavy top tax rates create a plateau.

Perhaps the 70%-90% top tax rates were one reason why the 1970s were such difficult times, financially?

This statement actually demonstrates to me that, in general (not just for hedge funds), tax loopholes need to be closed. More on that later.

Furthermore, about 500 people a year renounce their U.S. citizenship and repatriate themselves to countries such as Belize and the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes entirely.

My response: Don't they have the freedom to vote with their feet? I'm glad our nation doesn't have a Berlin wall :-) Maybe the rich find the conditions more favorable elsewhere. Isn't that their right?

Doesn't this fact more demonstrate that conditions are becoming hostile to the rich in America, which is leading them to vote with their feet? I too had considered relocating to another country. I can see there's a coming onslaught of oppressive socialism, with the government micro-managing my life for me. I'm not alone.

I don't understand how this statement helps Mr. Buchheit's arguments. All it demonstrates for me is that America is becoming more hostile to the wealthy, and they know it. They have the freedom to leave, and they're doing so more now than ever. Taxing the rich will only increase the rate of expatriates.

(7) The very rich lost massive parts of their fortunes in the recession.

They lost money, but no more, percentage-wise, than average mid-level earners.

My response: First, I don't see why this argument belongs in a list of reasons not to tax the rich. I'd have dropped it.

But that aside, this is a good fact. It is a fact which exposes how some Republicans twist the facts. The concern is not with the amounts, but with the percentages. The Republicans who quote this should be ashamed.

Wealth data from the Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve show that the richest households have INCREASED their median incomes relative to other earners since 2006.

My response: Good for them. I'm very glad they didn't have to suffer loss. I'm sure a number of these households were prudent and saw the opportunities to invest in the midst of the crisis.

I'm equally sure that some manipulated the system. But we cannot punish everyone for the actions of some; that's what the justice system is for. See my response to point #1.

Interestingly, it was recently reported that Nancy Pelosi also had her net worth increase by 62% during the recession. Good for her. Smart business sense.

(8) "Income mobility" shows that the poor can get rich, and vice versa.

This argument relies on a 2007 U.S. Treasury Department report about income mobility that states "Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 - the top 1/100 of 1 percent - only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005." But nearly 9 out of 10 of those in the top 1% remained in the top quintile of earners over those ten years. They may have dropped out of the most elite 1% group, but they remained close. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

My response: As with the last reason, I don't see why this argument belongs in a list of reasons not to tax the rich.

But that aside, could not falling far from the tree have more to do with the fact that the rich are successful by nature; wise, resourceful, and intelligent? Unless we forget, some poor people are poor because they consistently make foolish decisions. Not every poor person is oppressed from the outside.

And also, I don't see how taxing the rich fixes this problem? Why don't we work on the core problems instead of punishing hard workers and removing some of the incentive from the poor? What do the poor have to look forward to if there is effectively a plateau above a certain level?

Unfortunately, Mr. Buchheit would (without realizing it) have us be a nation of mediocrity, where no one is a shining star. I'm sure he isn't aware of these implications.

(9) The rich support worthwhile causes.

According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the wealthy "give their biggest donations" to colleges, hospitals, and cultural organizations and "rarely make large gifts to social-service groups, grass-roots organizations, or nonprofit groups that focus on the poor or minorities."

My response: Are Mr. Buchheit and the Chronicle of Philanthropy actually saying that colleges and hospitals are worthless causes? I think they are saying so without realizing the implications. Hospitals and colleges help the poor heal, and study so that they might get ahead.

And supposing that they did give their biggest donations to these; it wasn't explained in what proportion this generosity is to the entirety of their generosity. The statistic isn't given. Mr. Buchheit may be making the same mistake the Republicans make; the question is not about raw dollar amounts but percentages.

And as noted by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, hundreds of millions of dollars are being contributed to congressional and state election races. Especially since the Supreme Court ruled against limits on corporate contributions.

My response: Is Mr. Buchheit saying that doing everything you can to advance a political cause which you feel passionate about is not a worthwhile cause? I wonder how Misters Jefferson, Washington and Franklin might have felt about this. I think he's saying so without realizing it.

He may respond that some use their contributions as a way of manipulate politicians to pass laws which benefit themselves in the creation of wealth. But again, isn't that what the justice system is for? See my response to point #1.

(10) Inequality is necessary to sustain a healthy and productive society.

This may be the worst reason of them all. Not only is it not necessary, but it's dangerous: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have documented the numerous studies that correlate inequality with shorter life expectancies, increased disease and health problems, and even higher murder rates.

The statistics clearly indicate that rates of illness in an unequal society are higher at all levels of income, even for the very wealthy.

My response: Great! Now that's an argument that I can agree with! I imagine that those who say inequality sustains a healthy and productive society, say so because they think that the spending of the rich makes it into the hands of the poor. But if that were true there would no longer be an imbalance, would there?

Those who say inequality sustains a healthy and productive society need to do a little thought experiement by pushing their logic to its logical ends. If there were ten individuals who each had one hundred billion dollars, and the rest of the world each had one dollar a day to live on, how many would be alive in ten years? Likely all ten rich people, and likely less than half of the rest.

Such thinking, is somewhat akin to a different kind socialism, by the conservatives; it's just a replacement of the government for business and individuals. But there is a better way, as I will soon explain.

It mustn't be forgotten that some who are classified as "rich" on a purely blind scale of numbers also have a higher cost of living. I myself make an above-average salary, but all five members of my family have expensive health problems. So I'm happy to spend the extra money on quality foods which improve our health, the best doctors to oversee our healing (and not simply manage the symptoms), and the best vitamins, minerals and medicines to bring about the healing process. I'm grateful to God to be so privileged that I can afford quality care for all of us.

We have the most modest home amongst nearly everyone we know, which is a great thing as we can contribute more money toward our health and other, more important needs. Because I have been sick, I've taken some of our extra disposable income to hire my needy friends and neighbors at very generous rates to repair our house. It's good to know I can afford to pay someone to be useful, that we may both benefit, rather than simply giving a handout. Our house is repaired, and my poor neighbor keeps his dignity.

The items I listed above (health, home repairs) are not tax-deductable, nor should they be. On a purely blind scale of numbers, we will suffer greatly as our taxes increase. There are others like me. Increasing taxes is simply not a good idea for folks like me.

Or suppose that the only employment a person finds is in an expensive city?

We've contemplated moving from Jacksonville, FL to Seattle, WA, for reasons that would be too complicated to explain here. Doing so would require an increase in salary, more than six figures, just to keep the same standard of living. But I'm not likely to find a job making that much, as the average salary in that city for my position would not be proportionate to the increase in cost of living.

So we would likely have a significant decrease in our expendable income, as we'd be squeezed from both directions (increased cost of living, decreased salary proportionate to the cost of living). We'd have to sell our affordable home and greatly increase our monthly housing costs, transportation costs, food costs, etc. This would likely mean we would give up some of our health purchases. Our health would decline.

I'd make more money, but would I be richer? No. But it may be the right move for our family, so we may move anyway.

All that to say, some of the so-called "rich" have higher expenses of living that are not truly optional, making them poorer than they seem. Blind numbers aren't sufficient to gauge whether someone is truly "rich." Does $250,000 in Billings, MT go as far as in New York, NY? Are there some families with higher costs of living, such as having a child stuck in the hospital for many years? It's not so simple.

==What should we do==
What is more important than taxing the rich is to fix the root problems for poverty so that more people can succeed. Socialst programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are unsustainable, and will ultimately ruin this country. The Republicans won't have to kill these programs. They'll die of natural causes, and the Republicans will be there to shovel dirt on the face of them.

(By the way, the same is true of overseas military intervention, a policy I'm not in favor of either. But that's another debate. The Democrats will be there to shovel dirt on this policy's face as well.)

First, the byzantine tax code offers too many places to hide. It needs to be scrapped. Quickly. The rich will always be able to afford to pay intelligent people to find loopholes. You cannot avoid this, no matter how many rules you create.

There's a better alternative. After having read the pros and the cons of a national sales tax, I'm convinced it's the right move. In fact, most of the cons against the national sales tax read more like arguments in FAVOR of it. Judge for yourself:

(Note: I'm not necessarily in favor of the so-called "Fair Tax," just a national sales tax of some kind.)

Second, forced generosity is unsustainable. Beginning this year, the Baby Boomers have begun to retire, many of them placing pressure on the already overburdened Social Security and Medicare. Estimates of the promises made through these socialist programs are anywhere from $50 to $150 trillion dollars. Unless these policies are IMMEDIATELY reversed we are headed straight for bankruptcy. But for politicians to perform such painful surgery would likely cost them their jobs.

The American people want something for nothing, so they have consistently voted socialistically. America the Titanic is headed directly for the iceberg, and it's nearly too late to turn the ship around. The American people need to change the way they think, and fast, or we're going to suffer greatly.

I fear it's already too late. I fear this whole article is a moot discussion.

Third, forced generosity is unacceptable. I agree that the rich should be more generous, and I have a solution to that in a moment. But forcing them to be generous is unacceptable, and here's why:

Suppose you have a friend named George; you've known him all your life. A mutual friend named Oliver is down on his luck and approaches you both for money to help pay for his kids' college tuition. You give some money because you want to be generous, but George doesn't want to. You try to convince George to do the right thing, but he still disagrees.

Is it right to threaten George with physical force to do the right thing?

Now imagine ten of your friends take a vote, and six out of the ten decide it's right to threaten George with physical force to help Oliver.

Does this democratic process make it OK to threaten George with physical force to do the right thing?

Now imagine that many thousands of people use a democratic process to create an agency, let's call them "The Agents," to ensure that they do everything they can so that George helps Oliver. George knows what will happen if he doesn't pay; soon, The Agents will come to George's house with guns and take him away. So he pays.

Is it right for The Agents to threaten George with physical force to do the right thing?

I'd read about this problem at Watch a short video which explains the problem better than I can. They offer a solution called "Stateless Society," which is a type of Libertarianism. I'm not a fan of this solution, but I do agree that forced generosity isn't acceptable.

Fourth, some who feel compassion for the poor may think the only possible answer to help them is forced generosity. No wonder socialist-like thinking is heavily promoted by those who are compassionate!

I think there is a better option, the Christian option: Hearts can be changed to be voluntarily generous by the promise of knowing Jesus better as a reward for obedience. The Bible has a six-sided, balanced seesaw when it comes to providing for the poor.

On one side, you have property ownership, even in the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt not steal." (Exodus 20:15) This discourages socialist thinking.

The second side is protection from abuse due to laziness: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10 ESV) This promotes the idea of hard work and enterprise and again, discourages lazy people who want something for nothing, who often vote socialistically.

The third side is the very heartbeat of God to be generous: "Sell your possessions, and give to the needy." (Luke 12:33 ESV) This is the command of action, but it's balanced out by the other five sides of the seesaw.

The fourth side of the seesaw comes immediately before the previous verse about giving to the needy. It protects you from fear that if you are generous, you will lose too much money and starve or be naked as a consequence. The verse is a little long, but all of it is important:
"And he said to his disciples, 'Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy." (Luke 12:22-33 ESV)

The fifth side, my favorite, comes immediately after the verse about giving to the needy. It provides great incentive to give, far greater than the promise of wealth. The Bible gives the immense promise of enjoying the Treasure that is Jesus by seeing His kingdom and rule spread through all the earth:
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:33-34 ESV)

The last side of the seesaw is that we are to reproduce Christians, both amongst the poor and the wealthy. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19 ESV) We are not to simply care for the poor and send them on to hell; that wouldn't be loving at all. We are to tell them about Jesus, who takes away the sins of the world and gives us powerful motivation to be generous; namely, the joy of enjoying the resplendent Savior, the knowing of whom comes through obedient lives.

We are to replicate Jesus' heart and mind amongst the world so that people will no longer be tempted to steal, but work hard in order to give to the needy: "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." (Ephesians 4:28 ESV)

Both the poor and the rich are tempted to idolize money. Yes, the poor also idolize money; I should know, I've been both poor and rich. The Bible helps both groups of people find the superior Treasure, and when finding it, former idols are let go.

"Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God."
(Proverbs 30:7-9 ESV)

"Money is the currency of Christian Hedonism." -Doctor and Pastor John Piper

So that's the six-sided seesaw. There may be more sides. I have never found such an astonishingly balanced seesaw anywhere else. The Bible works so well with the human condition, which is one reason I remain a Christian. "If I ever find a worldview which works better with the human condition, I'll take it!" -Piper

So Jesus wouldn't put a gun to the head of others, forcing them to give. As the fifth side of the seesaw demonstrates, He would put a desire for Himself in their hearts, and, living for the joy of making Jesus look good, they are happy to be generous as a byproduct.

Consider Acts 4:32-35:
"Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need." (ESV)

One implication: Caring for the poor, the way God intended it, is freedom and a delight. Forced generosity (socialistic-like thought) is slavery and a drudgery. Consider 2 Corinthians 8:1-3: "We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord..." (ESV)

My historical hero George Mueller understood this better than perhaps anyone else in the world. Without asking a single soul for a penny, he prayed in support for the poor in the equivalent of $177 million dollars (in today's money). Numerous atheists couldn't refute his life testimony and came to Jesus as a result.

In summary: Heart change on a global scale is needed. That heart change comes about through the promise of knowing Jesus better, and enjoying Him for the treasure that He is, the knowledge of whom comes through the obedience of generosity. Then money will flow to the hands of the needy in record volumes, and being so impressed by love, they too will change, living for the glory of Christ and giving generously. "God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Cor 9:7 ESV)

Oh, how I pray for global heart change!

If you're reading this and you claim to be a Christian, but you don't have a strong desire to know Jesus better and make Him look better through the obedience of generosity, you've got some serious praying to do. Read Luke 12, then get on your face and cry out for help here.

In closing, I did a Google search for "tax the rich" and found Mr. Buchheit's article. I read it as I wanted to see if there were good reasons that I was not aware of to tax the rich. But he's only demonstrated the terrible folly of socialist-like thinking. I'm sure he wasn't aware of the implications of his article. I hope he considers that there may be better solutions.


Chris said...

Given the state our nations' finances are in, the best strategy may be reneging on promises, plus scaling back the overseas military "police the world" stance, plus a national sales tax, plus a return to the gold standard, plus relaxed business requirements matching (or beating) Singapore, plus a gentle across-the-board tax increase.

Plus born again Christians everywhere, of course, haha ;-)

I can't see any other way to keep us solvent in the next twenty years. We've got a lot of work to do.

Chris said...

I wish I could find it right now, but there was a Forbes article I read this week which gave the perspective from the innocent rich who definitely feel as though they are being punished for something they didn't do.