Urban legend holds that Willie Sutton told a reporter that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” Not to be outdone, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison recently made a similar observation. CNS News reports:
Ellison was discussing his “Inclusive Prosperity Act” measure at the July 25th Progressive Democrats of America roundtable in Washington.
“The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it,” Ellison continued, “The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.”
The “Inclusive Prosperity Act” would levy a sales tax on the trading of stocks, bonds and derivatives.
We can induce from Ellison’s comments that he believes the government cannot go broke so long as money remains in the private sector to be taken. In other words, your money does not belong to you. The state allows you to keep what you have and reserves the right to seize it for redistribution.
Benito Mussolini would be proud. The Italian dictator who coined the term fascism defined it as a system of government where the state exists for its own sake, subordinating the individual. Like Ellison, Mussolini spoke of the state as though it were a person, elevating its “will” above that of the individual. Ellison ascribes “rights” to the government — to “the people of the United States” — while denying the property right of individuals.
Having apparently learned nothing from his hometown of Detroit, Ellison proceeds as though the trading of stocks, bonds, and derivatives will be unaffected by his new sales tax. Even if individual traders continued their transactions unabated, the tax would remove an estimated $300 billion annually from the private economy. In private hands, that $300 billion gets deployed for an economic return. In Ellison’s hands, it will be deployed for a political return.
A profound cowardice underlies Ellison’s position. Like the constituency he hopes to expand, Ellison seeks to avoid the risk-taking which those he would fleece must face for a chance at profit. While investors proceed without any guarantee that their effort will yield a return, Ellison proposes to feed off their attempt even before success is achieved. Transcending the evil of the income tax, which punishes citizens for their audacious efforts to survive and thrive, Ellison’s “Integrated Prosperity Act” seeks to tax citizens for merely trying to earn something, regardless of whether they actually do.
He might as well tax breathing. Oh, wait…