Sunday, June 21, 2009

An email to Kevin Baker

Thank you for writing your Harper's piece, "Barack Hoover Obama".

To the gentleman on this mornings program who confronted you with the question of who was going to pay for all these programs you responded with a generalization about the widening gap between the rich and poor. I won't deny the accuracy of your statement. However, that doesn't detract from his point that SOMEONE has to pay for this. I did question the gentleman's statistics regarding the distribution of taxes across the various income levels and found the following. Included is the URL to the entire document.

"Taxpayers with an AGI of at least $388,806, the top 1 percent of taxpayers, accounted for 22.1 percent of AGI for 2006. This represents an increase in income share of 0.9 percentage points from the previous year. These taxpayers accounted for 39.9 percent of the total income tax reported, an increase from 39.4 percent in 2005. The top 5 percent of taxpayers accounted for 36.7 percent of AGI and 60.1 percent of total income tax. To be included in the top 5 percent, a taxpayer must have reported AGI of at least $153,542, whereas, in 2005, the cutoff for this group was $145,283."

While the gentlemen's statistics may have been off, his point was spot on. Someone has to pay for this and your support of progressive taxation, which on the surface appears moral, is in fact, immoral. I invite you to re-read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I'm sure a man of your literary accomplishment has read it at least once. While the entire novel uses reductio ad absurdum throughout to make its point, it does make its point and explains the logical consequences of a morality based on need rather than on rational individual self-interest and free-market capitalism. In our current disconcerting economic and cultural environment, it appears prescient.

I agree with you that President Obama's policies will lead us to disaster. Your suggestion that he embrace "radically practical" policies will result in the realization of disaster even sooner. You'll be surprised to learn that I wish he would listen to you. Only economic disaster will force the people of this country to reassess its moral premises, reject the policies of the progressive left and embrace libertarian concepts of individual freedom, economic freedom and most importantly, individual responsibility. And if by some miracle a move to Obama engineered European style democratic-socialism results in a quasi-utopia, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong.
I may die thinking I was wrong. It may take decades of feasting off of the producers of society before utopia becomes hell when the doers slowly give up doing or perhaps when a John Galt like figure orchestrates a "strike" of the doers against their looters.
Best Regards,
Theirn Scott
"I have never encountered any actual evidence, convincing to an ordinary jury, that vox populi is actually vox Dei. The proofs, indeed, run the other way. The life of the inferior man is one long protest against the obstacles that God interposes to the attainment of his dreams, and democracy, if it is anything at all, is simply one way of getting 'round those obstacles." H.L. Mencken