Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Thomas Sowell’s Political Glossary

Posted by taxguru on July 1, 2012

Economics wizard Thomas Sowell published a four part glossary of commonly used political terms that is excellent.  You can reach the full texts with the following links.

Part 1 –  Fairness, Racism, Compassion, Greedy, Hungry

Part 2 –  Access

Part 3 –  Social Justice

Part 4 –  Fraudulently named and destructive legislation

As can be expected, I like to focus on the tax related terms, such as the following:

…recently we have heard that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. Some of us may want to see a definition of what is “fair.” But a concrete definition would destroy the versatility of the word, which is what makes it so useful politically. If you said, for example, that 46.7 percent of their income — or any other number — is the “fair share” of their income that the rich should have to pay in taxes, then once they paid that amount, there would be no basis for politicians to come back to them for more — and “more” is what “fair share” means in practice.

Compassion & Greedy
…More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected.  If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: “mean-spirited.” A related political label is “greedy.”…people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy,” while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give it to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion.”

The Hungry
…People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as “the hungry.”…if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are “the hungry.”


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