RUSH: Here’s Jim in Pittsburgh. Jim, welcome to the program. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Rush, it is indeed an honor from the land of the Steelers, and I gotta tell you, I’m just floored that I finally got through to you. My comment is: I don’t know why anyone would be surprised about TIME’s choice for Person of the Year because every time freedom makes a comeback, you can leave it to the liberals and the elites to take rich liberal people and celebrate how they’re giving their fortunes away. So this year you’ve got Zuckerberg giving his fortune away, and we’re not having the Tea Party as a Person of the Year. The same thing happened in 2005 when the Iraqi people went to the polls to vote for the first time since the Stone Age, and they put Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates on the cover. So it’s the same old song and dance.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s absolutely a good point.
CALLER: You know, and —
RUSH: Poor old Zuckerberg guy. First off, he doesn’t know how he made billions, and now he’s being guilted into giving half of it away if not more.
CALLER: That’s exactly right. And, you know, the only thing is: When are Republicans and conservatives going to stand up and make the moral argument against taxes? That’s something that just frustrates me to no end. You know, when are we going to wake up — and I know this is rhetorical. Whose money is it, and what right does the government have to take from my pocket and give it to someone else?
RUSH: Well, that moral argument is made constantly. But here, let me satisfy you, in the interests of doing it the way you will like to hear it. You want to hear the moral argument toward tax cuts and taxes, the best way to do that would be to call income ‘property.’ It is. Whether it’s your money, or whether what you’ve bought with your money, it is your property. In this country, the way we’re structured, on a percentage basis, the more you earn, the less your property rights are. The more you earn, the more the government and everybody else feels entitled to it. What if, with your money, you build a 20,000-square-foot house? Is the neighborhood entitled to 10,000 square feet of it? Is the town entitled to 60% of your house?
They look at it as though they’re entitled to 60% of your income, depending on where you live. Now, private property rights are determined by how much this government spends. Property rights are a bedrock principle of our country, and property rights are always in flux, because of tax rates — tax rates that are determined by earnings success, tax rates that vary according to how poorly the government manages our money. Do you realize your property rights are directly related to how poorly government runs things? Look at it this way. The United States government funds its excesses using escalating tax rates that are determined by their need and our level of achievement. The United States government funds its excesses by using escalating tax rates that are determined by their need and our level of achievement.
The more we achieve, the more they think they’re entitled to. Your money is as much your property as your house. If you go out and spend $50,000 on a car, does the government get 25% of your car? Do your neighbors get 25%? No! But they get 25% of your money or 50% of your money, and the more you earn, the more of your money they think that they are entitled to. Now, because the government is the worst manager of more than there is, they have to invent creative rationalizations (i.e., class warfare) to take what they need, and there’s no end to it. Government greed requires the force of law because their logic is absurd. Income levels ought to have no bearing on their right to confiscate private property.
Just because you earn more than somebody else does not automatically — should not automatically mean — they are entitled to more of it. Why, when it comes to money, is that true, but no other asset of yours? Would you think the government is entitled to 50% of your investment portfolio? You would have a fit! They already are entitled to the income of that portfolio every year, in a percentage basis; capital gains, some of it is straight income. The fact is that the less an American person makes, the more secure his or her income is. Property rights deserve much better in America. The more you make, the less secure your property rights are. Is this good enough for you, sir, on the morality of it all? (interruption)
Well, he wanted the moral take on taxes. The more property you have in the form of money, the less right you have to it. What’s just and fair about that? Private property, money, shouldn’t be penalized due to its volume any more than free speech is. Are you only allowed a certain number of words you can say every year before the government starts to get talking for you? But the more money you make the more dollars of yours they claim to be able to take. Private property is supposed to be fundamental to a free society. So what is the moral reason to take by force of law based upon volume? The reason has to do with the disrespect government has for private property. What is the moral argument for escalating tax rates?
What is the morality? Where is the morality in a progressive tax system? Where is it? (interruption) That’s not a moral argument, that you don’t ‘need’ it and somebody else does. I ask you again, then, you go out and you build a 20,000-square-foot house. Can the government take it, cut it in half, and give 10,000 to somebody else? Not without compensating you for it…yet. Here’s John Adams: ‘The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God…’ This is one of our founders. ‘The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.’
John Adams. Now, there’s no sliding scale for ‘the law of God,’ folks. Those who are the most moral are not required by law to give the most to charity. They do it by choice. But there’s no religious law, there’s not any other morality law that says, ‘The more you have, the more you must do away with,’ except in the progressive tax system. Now, it’s only a matter of time before cities begin to use means-tested fines, issue means-tested fines for moving violations and other minor infractions. In other words, your fine will be based on your income. (interruption) You don’t think this is gonna happen?
Okay, if you find that repugnant, if you say, ‘No, no, no, Rush! That will never happen. You mean a speeding ticket for me, if I make a hundred grand, is gonna be twice what somebody who makes 50 grand gets? Ah, Rush, they can’t do that.’ They already do it with your income. What’s the difference in a speeding fine? (interruption) Don’t give me this ‘equal protection under the law.’ It’s like exactly what I’m talking about. When it comes to your property, there is no equal protection under the law. When your property is money — and I don’t know how you can say your money is not your property. Do you have to buy something with your money before you technically have property?
Fines are based on income in Europe already. You think it’s not gonna come here? It’s only a matter of time. Cities, counties, states, they’re plunging themselves into bankruptcy. That will be their next rationalization to take money from those who have earned it. If you earn more you’re gonna be fined more. Why? Because they need it, and their need trumps everything, and their need is based on their incompetence. Their need is based on their mismanagement. Their need and their incompetence and their mismanagement is not based one thing on your earning power. How you’ve earned your money has no effect on how they manage it, but you pay for it.
Progressive tax rates are not gonna be enough to satisfy this beast, and then we know that there’s a wealth tax being planned. We know there’s a VAT tax. It’s coming. That’s how governments work. It’s sliding scale private property rights. It’s only yours until the government wants it or needs it, and there’s no upper limit on this. That’s why all this budget stuff matters. That’s why all this earmark stuff matters. It is why all this mismanagement matters. We have got to codify restraints on this monster. They are the ones incompetent. They are the greedy ones. They make us pay for it. There are always gonna be Barack Obamas. There will always be Harry Reids. There will always be Nancy Pelosis. We have to protect ourselves from them.
Okay, how’s that? Is that okay for the guy who says we’re not doing enough to talk about morality in taxes? That okay? (interruption) Okay, good.