Random thought of the day

When having a discussion about Federal taxes being too high I’ve had people tell me, “You have nothing to complain about. Your state receives more Federal money than it pays in Federal taxes.”

I think the proper response to this is, “It doesn’t come back in the form of gold. It arrives in the form of whips, chains, and taskmasters.”


10 thoughts on “Random thought of the day

  1. Joe – In general, the reason that the Western States “receive more Federal money than they pay in Federal taxes” is because the Feds control so much land in the West. The money isn’t coming to the “States” it’s coming to the Feds to support those Federal activities.

    If you studied the Fed expenditures by State, and removed those dollars which go to the “State” to support Federal activities (primarily land management agencies — BLM, FS, NPS, FWS, COE, BOR — and Defense — military bases and weapons research) I’m sure that you would find that the Blue/Eastern States get more return on their “investment.”

  2. Getting money back isn’t like “shepherds stew” it is more like a “cannibal soup”. In shepherds stew you have to put in to take out, and when the pot is empty the pot is empty.

    The cannibal soup on the other hand, well when that pot is empty they just kill the next fattest and put him into the pot.

  3. I’d also ask how that money coming back to the state helps me? How much of it goes to stuff I’m actively against?

  4. The amount one may or may not “get back” is irrelevant. The issue is about who controls the fruits of your labor – you, or some political cabal. Who has the rights to your property – you or any busy body who thinks he can use it better than you?

  5. Hank,

    That is certainly part of it. And they would argue that those represent jobs for citizens in the state which is true. But there is also the money for school, welfare, agriculture subsides, EPA, OSHA, etc. that must be spent in a particular way and/or is actually money used to enforce Federal laws and regulations. The money always comes back with strings attached. It is not “money” coming back into the state it is enforcement of the will of “The Central Committee” in D.C.

    Lyle said it more succinctly while I was composing this but I’ll say it anyway…

    It is not taking money from one state and giving it to other states. It is taking money from one state and spending it in a fashion decided by people (mostly) not of the state. If some thug takes $500 from me then spends $700 on hookers and cocaine (or whips, chains and taskmasters) and invites me to participate I don’t see this as a good deal because I have zero use for hookers and cocaine.

    Rob K,

    I thought I had that covered (admittedly with some hyperbola) with whips, chains, and taskmasters.

  6. This reminds me of the Laffer curve argument. While it’s a good and clever concept, it misses the point entirely. It implies that we are in effect cattle, and the farmer is trying to decide how to get the most milk from us. I figure it’s better than the Left’s supposition – that we are a cancer, and they the doctors are trying to figure out how to attenuate or eradicate us – but not by much.

    How about we stop looking at people as cattle to be milked or as a stain on the Earth, but instead look at each other as having immutable rights? It would mean some adjustments in the lifestyles of a few government employees and contractors, some freeloaders and some criminals, but wouldn’t that be something?

  7. I was thinking of a snappy retort. There are basically 3 cases.

    Case 1: I get exactly as much back in benefits as I pay in taxes. I am deprived of my freedom to spend my money as I choose due to strings being attached on the money.

    Case 2: I pay more in taxes than I receive in benefits. I am being robbed blind, and I lose my freedom to spend my money as I choose because I don’t have it any more, as well as the strings attached to the benefits.

    Case 3: I pay less in taxes than I receive in benefits. I am taking money that does not belong to me, but paradoxically I have more freedom with my own money (despite the strings attached) because I effectively have more disposable income than I would in the absence of benefits.

    This is why eradicating the permanent “under”class of benefit-eaters is so difficult. I read a story (h/t to Glock Talk) recently that a typical family of 4 on minimum wage with benefits has more disposable income than a family of 4 making $66000 (that goes double if they operate a cash-only business on the side).

  8. Or to put it simply; it’s vote buying, using taxpayers’ money. Or you could call it an extortion ring.

  9. I like to describe it as “they steal our money, and then bribe us with it–but they give us those bribes with stringschains attached.” It’s really sad, when you think about it that way!

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