The 5 Biggest Widely Accepted Lies in Politics
“An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.” – Eric Hoffer
“It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.” – Ronald Reagan
Most people who read my columns are used to seeing liberal assumptions and ideas about how the world works challenged, but today I’d like to undermine some ideas you often hear repeated across the political spectrum. These are ideas that are often just accepted without proof by people of many ideological stripes, even though they’re not true. For example…
1. Immigration benefits America
If you said, “Law-abiding immigrants who assimilate into the culture and add to the tax base benefit America,” I could not agree more. However, that’s not an apt description of American immigration anymore. Illegals certainly aren’t law-abiding and immigrants are no longer strongly encouraged to assimilate into our culture, although some do anyway. Moreover, the MAJORITY of immigrant families are on the dole in some way, shape, or form. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.” How does allowing people into the United States who leech off the citizens who are already here benefit the country? Could we design an immigration system that benefits the United States? Absolutely, but the one we have isn’t it and, in fact, if we stopped all immigration except for those marrying into American families for the foreseeable future, the country would be better off than if we continue what we’re doing.
2. The middle class is overtaxed
If government were the size that fiscally responsible conservatives and libertarians THINK IT SHOULD BE, then the middle class would indeed be overtaxed. However, that is not the world we live in. Instead, we’ve built a truly massive government, asked the rich to pay for most of it, and then borrowed to finance most of the rest instead of asking the middle class to pay THEIR FAIR SHARE.
According to CBO calculations, low-income households earn five percent of the nation’s income but pay just one percent of all federal taxes. Middle-income households earn 14 percent of national income but shoulder 9 percent of all federal taxes. Even those households in the upper-middle class bear a lower tax burden than their share of national income. The top one percent of households (which starts at $500,000 for a two-person household) pay 25 percent of all federal taxes, still significantly more than their share of the nation’s income.