Donald Trump is under fire by Hillary Clinton supporters for taking tax breaks or subsidies while building his real estate empire.
Interestingly, the Hillary Clinton supporters who condemn Trump conveniently evade two crucial points: First, tax breaks are not the same as government subsidies. Second, these Trump critics regularly solicit the very same tax breaks and subsidies for their Democratic candidates and constituents.
A tax break or tax cut is not a subsidy. A subsidy consists of forcibly taking money from one individual or group and giving it to another. A tax break or tax cut, on the other hand, involves restoring money to its rightful owner.
Morally, there’s a world of difference between the two.
Of course, tax cuts or breaks can be defined as an indirect form of subsidy. Government taxes everyone while shielding chosen individuals from the burden of those taxes. Why? Because those groups support the politicians in power, or groups that do things (e.g., produce unmarketable “green energy”) the politicians want them to do.
Yes, it’s wrong to provide tax cuts to some groups and not others. But this is the very system Hillary Clinton supporters uphold most of all — but only for their cronies; not for anyone who disagrees with them. Hillary and Bill Clinton have created a multimillion-dollar empire based on political pull and clout to reward people who donate to them in exchange for perks.
If you disagree with political pull and favoritism, you should be far more upset with the Clintons than with Donald Trump.
Was Trump wrong to take subsidies from the government?
It’s not a fair question, because government puts productive people into a lose-lose situation by offering subsidies in the first place. If you don’t take the subsidies, you make yourself a martyr while your competitors (who might be inferior to you in ability) take the subsidies. If you take the subsidies, then you’ve participated in the government scheme of robbing some to pay for others — in this case, yourself. Of course, if you’re productive, then you already pay high taxes, which means you’ve already been robbed many times to pay for others.
It’s the system we have to condemn first and foremost. As Ayn Rand (author of Atlas Shrugged and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal) wrote: “In a controlled (or mixed) economy, a legislator’s job consists in sacrificing some men to others. No matter what choice he makes, no choice of this kind can be morally justified (and never has been). Proceeding from an immoral base, no decision of his can be honest or dishonest, just or unjust—these concepts are inapplicable.
"He becomes, therefore, an easy target for the promptings of any pressure group, any lobbyist, any influence-peddler, any manipulator — he has no standards by which to judge or to resist them. You do not know what hidden powers drive him or what he is doing. Neither does he.”
Many Americans sense the injustice in this whole system of wealth redistribution, confiscation and then restoration of income via pull peddling. They keep throwing the bums out and replacing them with clones who become the new bums. This leads to cynicism and hopelessness. But it’s not hopeless if we finally step up and discard the current system.
Ideally, the best way for Trump to respond to these attacks is to oppose subsidies in the first place and to support a flat tax that only funds legitimate functions of government such as police, defense and a court system.
I’d love it if he took these positions, but it’s not what he believes. Eventually, Americans will have to figure this out for themselves and only elect officials who actually end or massively reduce the system of pull peddling as we know it.
One thing is for sure. Electing Hillary Clinton will even further entrench the corruption of influence peddling like never before. She owes just about everyone (including our sworn enemies!) and just about everyone owes her.
Once she’s president, the strings will tighten all around. It’s incredible to think that people supporting her are against Trump because of his having accepted tax breaks or subsidies.
They have no credibility until they call for ending the whole system of tax breaks and subsidies in the first place. Only a free market can achieve that. A totally free market means separating economics and government, just as we (claim to) separate media and government or church and state. In such a society, the Clinton Foundation politicians-for-hire scam would disappear overnight.
In a free market with a minimal flat tax and no subsidies, Donald Trump would have done just fine. In a society free of government pull, none of us would even know Hillary or Bill Clinton existed.
Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D., LCSW is a psychotherapist and author with a private practice in coastal Delaware. He is the author of “Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (and How to Tell the Difference).” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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