Tuesday, October 14, 2008

America is at risk of taxing herself out of a democracy

Posted by Tod A. Wacker, West Salem October 09, 2008 04:56AM

In 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, noticed a continuing pattern in the advance and decline of the world's democracies. He stated that a democracy can continue to exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves gifts from the public treasury. From that point on, the majority proceeds to vote for the candidate who promises the most benefits from that treasury. The end result is that, every single time, in a period of about 200 years, democracies collapse due to a loose fiscal policy.

He also noted that the progression of a democracy is a simple one. It transforms from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; and finally from dependence back into bondage.

As we listen to candidates campaigning, whether they are running for town council, United States president, or somewhere in between, are we voting ourselves one step closer to the bondage of socialism? Or, even more extreme, communism?

Our model of democracy has been in existence 232 years. It's our generation's turn to guard it. How far will we let it slip on our watch?

Regardless of which political party we choose to affiliate ourselves with, we are all Americans. We all have issues and agendas that are important to us. But a government is not a business. It is an organization that does not produce anything to generate an income. The only money it receives is what it takes from its people. Our government cannot and should not fund all of the issues and agendas that come its way.

Think about this: If less of our income went out in taxes, we could individually give more money to the causes, charities and organizations we feel are worthy.
Don't misunderstand my point. It is a wonderful responsibility to pay taxes. But how far can we let this go? When we go to the polls in November, let's further the words of Alexis de Tocqueville:

"The American republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

1 comment: