I have a couple of far-left friends who delight in reminding me of a joke I made against them a while ago. One of them described to their Facebook friends that they needed major surgery. I made a comment, to the effect of “You’re welcome, since I’m probably paying for it.” Since then they both thank me explicitly whenever they so much as refill a prescription. Of course, I made the mistake of thinking that I would instill a little healthy guilt in someone who believes that because of my ideological affiliation I should be made to take care of them. But as with most Democrat-initiated things, the joke’s on me. Of course, the whole thing couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m not taking care of anybody. I’m pretty much broke!
The economy wasn’t in great shape in Upstate New York when Bush was President, either. The Binghamton, NY area where I grew up was a defense-contract town, with an American computer company (Endicott, NY’s IBM) thrown in for good measure. The end of the Cold War and the availability of cheaper computers overseas killed the local economy and it never recovered.
So I have to laugh – however uncomfortably – when someone thinks that I am somehow well-off just because I’m not a Democrat. I struggled under W., and nothing got better when Barack Obama took over.
I’ve struck out so ardently as a small-businessman because there’s literally nothing else up here to do. People tell me I’m intelligent and talented. I could probably make more money at this point working the drive-through at McDonalds, but I was never able to shake that feeling that it would be a terrible waste of intelligence and talent.
I’m also a conservative musician, which makes me the sort of minority a Democrat could only dream of being. The conservative media is largely two camps separated by a very dark, empty, and wide chasm. There’s Fox, Beck, Limbaugh, and a few other media heavyweights; and the rest is blogs, Twitter personalities, and internet radio shows. Standing at the edge of the grassroots conservative media, looking across that chasm to the other side, I often wonder if I will ever be able to make the leap.
Between my liberal friends thanking me for their “free” healthcare, and watching my sales like a pre-teen girl used to watch the family telephone, desperately hoping for a sign she is considered important, things look pretty bleak for this right-wing guitar-slinger. I start to wonder, if Democrats want me to pay lots and lots of taxes so they can get a free lunch, why do they stand in the way of me making lots and lots of money? Wouldn’t their dreams of a well-funded nanny state make much more sense with more Republican millionaires in the world?
This gets me thinking that Democrats don’t really want what they say they want. And that makes me think that the only successful Democrat strategy is to make sure Republicanism succeeds.
Throughout American history, lower tax rates have created more prosperity, a higher standard of living and – most importantly – increased federal revenue. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates in half – in half – and revenue to the government doubled. Reagan, one of the Democrats’ favorite scapegoats for everything from AIDS to xenophobia (see what I did there? Read it out loud), gave their favorite nanny – government – a 100% raise.
Even Democrat John F. Kennedy realized what would happen when he lowered taxes. After Hoover and FDR, the top tax rate was 90%! Kennedy reduced this just 20% and tax revenue increased by 62%.
Democrats have stated their position again and again: The wealthy do not pay their fair share. Whether that’s true or false is largely irrelevant: They won’t ever pay what you consider a fair share. It’s just not good business. Raising taxes does not significantly increase tax revenue. It just kills economies.
Here’s how the world really works. Let’s use me as an example (write what you know, right?). I don’t currently make enough money to even mention here, so I’m a good example of a Republican who is supposed to be paying his fair share, but because of the depressed economy, isn’t making anything to tax.
I no longer worry about manufacturing physical product. The Internet has provided an environment where cost-to-market is significantly lower, as a copy of a file can be sold to a buyer and there is no per-unit manufacturing cost. At this stage of my career, keeping costs low is crucial because sales are low as well.
The Internet is a double-edged sword, however. It is largely a Democrat dreamland, and I am under constant pressure by “new media” pundits and so-called “Music 2.0” proponents to make all of my music free to download. The whole industry is hugely anticapitalist, which is no surprise despite being highly hypocritical, but it begs the question: If I’m not supposed to make money doing this, how am I going to pay all those taxes you want me to pay?
I wouldn’t be so worried about the bottom line if the economy wasn’t so depressed that there wasn’t “normal” or “9-to-5” work available. Maybe then I could do it as a hobby. But even my “real” job, as a freelance digital designer, is suffering. Websites, commercials, audio/video production, it’s almost all luxury spending. The highly “democratic” Internet has free tools that people can use to create a basic (read: awful) website, and most people won’t know the difference anyway. I can provide a superior product, but I can’t provide it for free.
How does the economy improve? Simple. Money needs to be available to be spent. Despite the lower cost to market, I need physical goods and services to create my product. I need a constant supply of guitar strings and picks. I need gas to get to gigs or open mics. I’d like to replace my ten-year-old car, which gets about 19 miles to the gallon, with a newer fuel-efficient vehicle. I need to be able to pay my Internet bill so I can market myself online. I need thousands of dollars worth of software. I could really use a new MacBook Pro, which I use not only to produce my music but to perform. I need insurance on it in case some alcoholic redneck or progressive troublemaker spills beer all over it during a gig, or if it gets lost or damaged in our travels. I’d love to get to a point where I have a spare! I can get by with a hastily-purchased $400 acoustic guitar if something happens to mine (and my spare), but a new MacBook is a $2,000+ investment that needs to be replaced at least every three years.
If I’m making money, I can spend money. Having $2,000 to lay down on a new MacBook Pro, or $28,000 to put into a 2011 Toyota Camry, would help out a lot of people. Even having the money to buy one of those sweet $4,000 Les Pauls with the Floyd Rose would help out a lot of people, if only so I can pretend to be Alex Lifeson in the privacy of my home studio. It’s a little economic principle long pooh-poohed by so-called progressives, called “trickle down economics.”
Purchasing a new laptop puts money in Apple’s pocket, which allows them to continue paying their employees, their parts suppliers, and the media outlets in which they advertise. The extra $350 for the extended “AppleCare” warranty usually ends up being a bit of free money for a company that has built a reputation for creating trouble-free computers. I pay it gladly as insurance against having to spend another $2,000 in thirteen months when the pesky just-out-of-warranty problems typically happen. And – surprise – my purchase also helps Apple pay their taxes, the amount of which increases directly with their profit, which is then redistributed to Democrats with a nanny fetish.
Having the financial ability to buy a 2011 Camry would also help a lot of people. It means that one more Camry has to be manufactured, by Americans, in Georgetown, Kentucky and Lafayette, Indiana. It means my bank can charge me interest on a car loan. It means I’ll get 36 miles or more to the gallon on the highway, which means I don’t have to buy as much gas, which just tickles liberals who believe oil companies should be punished for what they do.
Oh, and those Americans who put my Camry together are probably also union. Democrats like it when unions get money, right?
Making enough money from sales to buy the computer or the car in the first place means that my success in turn affects the success of everyone from whom I need something to run my business. I help people who make guitars, guitar strings, audio gear, PA systems, cables, cases and bags. I want to look nice when I perform; I can help the clothing industry. I can pay my barber. When I play in bars, clubs, or arenas, I help people who make beer.
This is the point Democrats gleefully ignore despite being surrounded with information on it: Capitalism is the best wealth-redistribution program ever created. The reason Democrats don’t like it is because it’s fair to everybody only as long as they all work.
A character in Luc Besson’s 1997 film The Fifth Element explains similarly, when he purposely breaks a glass and an excessive number of robots appear from the walls to clean it up, that without “destruction,” the companies that made those robots wouldn’t be able to stay in business. Oh yeah – the character is the bad guy, involved in a plot to destroy all life in the universe. No agenda there, right?
No, Democrats believe that all Republicans are Scrooge McDuck. We all have a “money pit” in which we swim while mercilessly cackling at the lower class. We don’t want to pay our fair share. That’s not the case at all. We just know, as I know all too well right now, that anything times zero is zero. You can’t squeeze blood from a stone. It doesn’t matter at what percentage you tax me, if I don’t have any money, you’re not getting any money. And if you tax us as too high of a rate, businesses don’t have the money to expand. No successful businessman ever sat on large reserves of cash when it could be doing so much more for him.
If modern-day Democrats were intellectually honest, they’d be passionately peddling my conservative content, doing whatever it took to make sure each one of their Facebook friends or Twitter follows gobbled up my entire discography. Why? Well, they want to restore the Clinton economy they believe George W. Bush destroyed (they don’t seem to remember how anti-Bush books and merchandise flew off the shelves for years, but I digress). They also want tax revenues to increase so they can live off government assistance. They want the credit for fixing the economy so their representatives can easily win re-election at all levels and continue to grow the nanny state.
In other words, you should make this Republican wealthy so you can tax the shit out of me.
Everything is trickle-down. If Obama were to cut the tax rates in half, and promise to keep them there for the rest of his Presidency, you’d see a drastic change. Small business owners would be confident in using the money they save to hire additional employees. They’d retain more stock, which would send a ripple effect, stronger than the most devastating tsunami, through the manufacturing sector. They in turn would have to hire more employees, buy more equipment and raw materials, which would send its own ripples. And people would have more disposable income, which they may be more comfortable spending on new music. A few million people do that, and all of a sudden I’m a wealthy Republican who would be more than happy to pay his share of taxes at a fair rate. And you’d probably keep Obama in office another four years, and his successor would probably be a Democrat, too.
And if I needed to take on a second job to help pay the bills, there’d be jobs available that wouldn’t rob me of my dignity, and allow me to use my talents and intelligence to their fullest potential. And they’d be desperate for people, because the Democrats wouldn’t be going after the jobs – after all, since trickle-down works, and cutting tax rates actually increases federal revenue, there’d be enough money for me in the free market, and enough money for them in the welfare line.
But that’s not what it’s about. If it was, Democrats would slash tax rates and get out of the affairs of small business. They’d let money flow freely, knowing as Reagan did that lower taxes result in more income to tax. The numbers back it up every time it’s tried. No, it’s about control. They want to control the populace directly; remove choice in the market, remove opportunity to operate independent of government. They want it even if they have to lie to you. And it’s too bad, too. We’d all be better off if they really wanted the economy to improve. Even they would have more money.
Democrats certainly have a lot to answer for. But the worst of their crimes, at least if you consult them, may be that their actions have validated the arguments of Glenn Beck – a Democrat-described conspiracy theorist who uses fear and factual inaccuracies to stir up hatred for the left wing. If lower tax rates improve the economy and drastically increase revenue to government, and Democrats don’t want those things, then they’re taking intentional action to collapse the economy. I didn’t want to believe him, but now I do.
That’s on your head, Democrats.