My excuse for not finding this earlier is that at the time, I didn’t notice the comments to the post, or possibly read the post before there were comments. Apparently, a commenter of Timothy Shortell’s took exception to my welfare post, and felt the need to start a longwinded rant about the government taking his money.
Welfare is basically a collection of money transfer programs from the government to people the government deems to need assistance.
Apparently this communist thinks all wealth belongs to the government. The above should read, “Welfare is basically a collection of money transfer programs from the productive citizens hard work to people the government deems to need assistance. This money, taken by force with the threat of imprisonment or great bodily harm is then transferred to the group of individuals in this country who refuse to provide for themselves, continue to make poor decisions and demand financial equality. Government uses this stolen money to purchase votes from society’s dead weight, thus ensuring its continued growth and power.”
At this point, 50% of U.S. citizens pay absolutely no federal income taxes. This rate will continues to increase as politicians use these large numbers to turn wealth envy into political gold by promising to punish the wealthy and reward those with the open hands. Soon my long lost relative, Timmy here, will have his idea of socialist utopia and the US will look more like Europe with enormous unemployment rates, a bloated welfare system, and now, the rapid transformation of a once secular society into an Islamo-fascist insane asylum where Sharia law will usurp their already nutty legal system.
Perhaps Aloon should seek a profession that is in demand enough to pay him enough to afford better insurance, or (GOD FORBID!) to pay for his own MRI. I would bet that a quick examination of his purchases for that past year or so would reveal expenditures that could have been curtailed in order to provide that $1000 needed for his MRI. Or perhaps he (or she. I don’t know who this whack job is) could solicit donations from his/her readers before wishing for Uncle Sam to put a gun to my temple and rob me of my hard earned money.
First, a quick political rundown: anyone who’s stupid enough to think anyone with a functioning brain would rather go through the humiliation that is TANF than work should be barred from posting comments on blogs; meanwhile, Sweden, which has non-humiliating welfare, has marginally more unemployment than the US, and Denmark and Norway have less.
Besides, so much of an individual’s income comes from government assistance such as public education, roads, and various and sundry policies that increase income mobility that anyone who’s clueless enough to make a moral “It’s my money” argument should be deported to Namibia and made to live on an income equal to the Namibian percentile corresponding to his country’s percentile.
Oh, and since single-payer systems spend less on health care than the US, a “bloated socialist system” for health care won’t increase his taxes by a cent, create any additional deficit, lengthen waits for procedures, or restrict his choice of doctors. He’ll only become worse off if he works for a health insurance company or is a redundant health care bureaucrat, in which case he should seek an alternative job that doesn’t require the economy to be grossly inefficient to sustain.
Now, a personal breakdown: it’s hard to underestimate the amount of money I spend that isn’t on food, rent, or travel. It’s there, but I don’t buy clothes, I download my movies (if you think it’s stealing, you already want the government to enforce things you support on pain of imprisonment or serious bodily harm), and I usually don’t care enough about owning things to spend money on them.
Okay, I travel. I realize that in the libertarian utopia, the poor barely have money to eat, let alone see any place other than their own neighborhood, but see my above comment about deporting people to Namibia. But even then, a lot of my travel expenditures are for my Metrocard, which pays for a subway system that wouldn’t even be up if libertarians had their way (note, by the way, that the set libertarians doesn’t equal the set of rich people; Upper East Siders use the subway just like everyone else).
And, on top of everything, I have to pay taxes. The 50% figure is a lie. Even if it weren’t, it wouldn’t apply to me, because not being even a permanent resident of the US, I can’t take advantage of a lot of deductions. I have 14% of my income withheld in income taxes, and on top of that I pay an 8.375% sales tax on everything I buy, which works out to paying about 20% of my income in taxes. As a percentage of disposable income it’s a lot higher; going by even the national poverty rate, which barely covers my rent, I pay 40% of my income to the government. Counting health insurance as income, it goes down to about 33%.
Actually, since health care is about 23% of government spending in the US, counting both my insurance premium and taxes means I pay almost $3,000 per year for health care, in a system that discriminates in pricing based on criteria that depress my premiums to the minimum possible. I’d pay less if I were Canadian, and get better health care even if the American myth that Canada has prolonged waits for everything were true.
On the other hand, I still have a few hundred Euros I haven’t converted into dollars. If the US keeps cutting taxes on the rich and fighting wars of aggression, it’ll depress the dollar so much I’ll be able to live off the interest my Euros will pay me.