There is little doubt that we are being bamboozled by our professional politicians. We continue to have faith in our rulers despite their betrayals, the squandering of the loot they steal, and the unsustainable debt they have created. After each crisis, whether it be a natural disaster, a mass shooter or a terrorist attack, we implore our politicians to increase their intrusions, their wealth confiscations and their police state, with the plea, “Anything to keep us safe.”
How much liberty do we have to sacrifice to facilitate the illusion of safety and prosperity? Everything we possess and do in our daily lives is already regulated, licensed, and taxed by the government because we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe. Once the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, it can only do so by limiting or taking away our liberties. Everything from our consumption of soft drinks to our contributions to retirement accounts is monitored. President Obama’s 2014 budget would limit tax-preferred retirement savings because “some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement savings.” It seems unreasonably wealthy retirees are a menace to society.
In 2008 the people of Massachusetts voted 70 percent to 30 percent against repealing the state income tax. I can’t help wondering who would vote against being able to keep more of his own earnings. In an effort to further please their constituents, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature now want to raise taxes even more. H.L. Mencken wrote, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”