Let’s say a friendly billionaire, like Bill Gates, offered to give you $100,000. This would be paid in cash, tax free. He would pay any taxes you would incur so that your net amount received would indeed be $100,000.
There would be no requirement and you wouldn’t have to do or promise anything. He just wanted to give it to you because he was your friend, and because he was a nice guy.
Would you be excited?
Of course you would. For many of you, receiving that money, or even hearing about it the first time would be the best day of your life. You’d be ecstatic!
You happily agree to take the money and he shakes your hand, telling you that he’ll personally bring the briefcase full of cash over to your home tomorrow afternoon at 1pm. You tell him that you’ll definitely be there.
He nods, and as he leaves, he mentions in passing that he has to meet you at 1pm, since at 2pm, he’ll be stopping by at my house and giving me $1 million.
Instantly, your mood goes from ecstatic to neutral, or perhaps even negative.
“Wait a minute, what?” you exclaim, “I get $100,000, but Caleb gets $1 million? Why?”
“Because he makes more money than you,” Bill answers.
Obviously, you don’t like that answer at all. You get a little upset. You scream at Bill, telling him that since you make less money than me, you should be the one getting more money, not me. Bill just shrugs and says that fair or unfair, that’s just the way it is.
He goes on to say that you have two choices:
1. Take the $100,000, watch me get $1 million, and shut up and enjoy your money even though it’s clearly unfair that I’m getting more.
2. Refuse the $100,000 and get nothing. If you do, Bill will not give me the $1 million either. So you lose your $100,000, and I lose that $1 million.
Now tell me… which option would you choose? Think very carefully before you answer.
I submit to you that if you take option two, you’re insane. Seriously. I truly believe that no matter how angry you are, no matter how much you hate me, Bill Gates, rich people, capitalism, or whatever else you hate, if you refuse the $100,000 just to keep $1 million away from some other person who makes more money than you means that you have something seriously wrong with yourself.
I fully understand being very angry, hurt, and upset while receiving the $100,000. I would be a little peeved myself, but the $100,000 would more than make up for any negative feelings you’d have… if you were a normal, functioning human. But if you refuse the money because someone else is getting more, I think you’ve truly lost your mind. Again, I’m not being hyperbolic; I honestly think something is mentally wrong with you if you make that choice.
Remember this any time a left-winger screams that Trump shouldn’t pass any tax cut proposals that include cutting your taxes, because richer people might get a bigger tax cut than you. Yeah, they probably will. And yeah, this is often very unfair, particularly in a corporatist society where the super-rich get free cash from the taxpayer. As I’ve said many times, I’m 100% opposed to all corporate welfare, bank bailouts, or quantitative easing. I’m likely more against these things than you are, even if you’re a left-wing progressive. The super-rich are indeed directly responsible for much of the reasons why the West is collapsing. You’ll get no argument from me on any of that.
As you already know, I think no one should pay an income tax at all, and that income tax is a fundamentally immoral and authoritarian policy. If I was president and I had the power to do it, I’d reduce your income tax (at least your federal income tax) to zero, regardless of your income bracket.
But if Trump offers to cut your taxes, yes you, your taxes, by say $2000 a year, are you going to be against this because some rich person you don’t even know is going to save $100,000 with the same tax cut?
If that makes you upset, I completely understand.
But if you’re against getting $2,000 more in your pocket, you’re insane.