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Feb 5, 2009

Leftist Arguments: A or B

Leftist Dual Models
02/05/09 - ChicagoBoyz by Shannon Love [edited, restated]

The Left has different arguments for different purposes.

Tobacco Taxes:

A: It is right to tax tobacco companies.

Tobacco use is the fault of evil tobacco companies, and smokers are their hapless victims. (1) Tobacco is highly physically addictive. People are largely powerless to stop smoking. (2) Marketing makes smoking so desirable that it subverts the choice not to smoke.

So, the companies are rightly paying billions (to state governments, not smokers) in compensation and are forced to stop brainwashing people with advertisements.

B: It is right to tax smokers.

Individuals freely choose to do something destructive to themselves and others. They can stop anytime they wish. Taxing them helps the smoker by inducing him to quit, and it compensates society for the harm that smokers choose to inflict on the community.

Social Security (SS) and Payroll Taxes:

A: Government payments to the retired are proper repayment of what was contributed.

SS represents a solid “investment” for workers. The compulsory payments are “contributions”, the same term used for private pension payments. Workers will reliably receive a higher rate of return than they can with private plans, because the government guarantees payouts. A worker will get back every dime he puts into Social Security plus interest. SS payouts are fair because they depend on how much a person contributes over his working life. SS is simply a compulsory government pension system whose benefits go to contributors.

B: Workers should get tax refunds based on their SS taxes.

SS is a regressive "tax" system that forces workers to carry the burden of supporting the elderly and disabled while getting nothing in return. The worker’s contribution to SS should be considered part of the general taxes he pays. These are not “contributions”, they are regressive taxes.

The analysis:
The only constant in these dual-model arguments is in who benefits. For tobacco, leftists get money to pay for votes and to increase the public’s dependency on government.

The SS arguments demand lower contributions and greater payouts, using contradictory statements.

Leftists choose which model to advance at any given time depending on how it benefits them, the politicians, and the particular political groups they identify with.

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