Last week, I met a French man, who shared that his government “takes care of everything”. He then repeated what I have heard President Obama, Governor Jerry Brown, and Democratic Party leaders demand:
"The rich must pay their fair share."
I asked him his thoughts about that.
He told me that that's the way it should be. The rich should pay more.
I then asked him if it would be “fair” for him to pay seventy-five cents on every dollar in taxes.
Changing the subject, he argued that those who earn less pay less taxes, while those who earn more pay more.
I fired back: "That's not fair!"
His response, justifying his point of view: "It's cultural."
Not to actor Gerard Depardieu, who has fled his native France, refusing to pay seventy-five cents of his every dollar to the French Government. Nor former French President Nicholas Sarkozy or former actress Brigitte Bardot, who are threatening to leavie France to avoid paying high taxes to fund an unaffordable welfare state.
Even French labor leader Laurence Parisot has protested Socialist-Leftist President Francois Hollande's high taxes. This one union head recognizes that raising exorbitant taxes on rich people pushes wealth out of trade and investment, and rich people either horde their wealth in trust funds or hide their wealth in untouchable off-shore bank accounts.
Robert Sirico, a former socialist turned Catholic Priest who defends free markets, pushed the"pay more" dependence culture of liberal-Democratic redistribution to the extreme:
"What will happen if we take all the wealth from the "Top 1%" and give into the poorest "10%"?
"What will the bottom "10%" do with all of that money?
"They will consume it. They will spend it, and there will be nothing to show for it.
"What good is wealth taken from one to give to another, when all of that money goes into consumption only?"
The issue is more than dollars and cents. Class warfare-envy is latent in human nature, fanned by a culture removed from the truth and consequences of poor choices. A society based on the few paying the way for the many creates a culture of sloth and waste, both of which are insulting and unfair to the very people whom the programs are supposed to benefit: the poor.
Case in point: Comedian Adam Carolla had a "welfare reina" mother. A heavy-hitting fiscal conservative, Carolla is not afraid to call Obama's flubs "stupid comments", or to argue that social welfare hurts people. In his recent autobiography, Not Taco Bell Material, Carolla relates how he was raised on welfare, food stamps, and even a school lunch. He felt that his mother was "cut off at the knees". The government gave her enough to get by, but not get better.
"Why don't you just get a job?" Adam asked one day, tired of the bad food and the poor quality life that he was suffering.
Mom's answer was a sad, yet classic response:
"If I get a job, I will lose my welfare."
Dependence is a subtle poison, one which denies wealth and prominence to people, who are convicted into believing that they cannot make it without someone making it for them.
Carolla believed that his mother would have risen to the occasion, gotten a job, and made something of herself without the handouts. Sadly, we will never know what she or anyone else is capable of as long as they are getting a handout from the state.
What motivated Carolla to get out of the cycle of poverty and welfarism? He wanted a car, he joked. More to the point, he wanted more than a hard life of "barely getting by". Instead of getting stuck in envy, Carolla got into gear to get something better, which everyone can do. Yet Democratic leaders insist on giving people just enough to get by and stay dependent, when they can prosper doing so much more. Such "Liberal Do-Gooders" end up impoverishing people.
This mentality of "pay fair share" to "help other people" is cultural, which means that no one has to buy into it, be born into it, or be burdened by it. Thomas Sowell remarked that the vast majority of freed African-Americans
could not read once slavery ended. Inn a generation, the
black literacy rate exploded to fifty percent of the population, despite racist Jim Crow laws and prohibitions against education black people. Independence seems innate, while dependence is learned.
No one needs welfare, but Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson felt otherwise:
"We'll have those niggers voting for us for 200 hundred years," he commented when expanding the welfare state, with minorities in mind, to create dependents, expand dependence, and maintain a dependable voting bloc of the Democratic Party.
Let's recap and reconsider the Democratic culture of dependence:
How would you respond if the state took sixty-seven cents of every dollar you earned in taxes ? The French man I spoke with refused to answer this question. Et vous?
A culture of dependence is a culture of poverty perpetuated by Democratic leaders, a culture which we can choose to resist and rise above.