“One sure way to determine the social conscience of a government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent. And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax reaction. Taxes, after all are the dues we pay for the privilege of membership in an organized society.”
—President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, actively making the case for taxes as part of his re-election campaign in 1936.
I know I am going to make some of my more conservative readers barf here but I consider FDR to be one of the greatest presidents in the twentieth century. He was born into privilege as an American aristocrat but had a strong empathy for the common man. That seems to be a very rare commodity in today’s world. One that Mr. Romney certainly didn’t have. FDR was exactly what was needed for the times he was president. Now I admit that his last year or so in office was pretty much a catastrophe. He was a senile old man who basically turned eastern Europe over to the Soviets. He should never have sought a third term in office. But as I have said before I take my heroes as human with both a good side and a not so good.
Getting back to the quote above the funny thing about all this nonsense of not taxing the rich because they are the “jobs makers” didn’t prove out anymore then than they do today. I am a fiscal conservative but when it comes to the social conscience of government I am without a doubt a liberal. I hear from my conservative friends that the rich are so upset about the fact that their taxes are almost as high as they were fifteen years ago. I really don’t know if their being upset is fact or fiction?
As FDR said above one way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax reaction. I know that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates say they are not opposed to paying higher taxes to promote the people’s business (and that is what taxes are really all about). I honestly must say that I don’t personally know any one with a seven-figure annual paycheck but I wish more of those guys, instead of allowing the punsters to tell us how they think, would come out of the closet so to speak and let us know their personal views on this subject.
When you manage to knock down a six-figure or above annual income does that somehow cause your social conscience to diminish? I just wish some of these guys would, like Bill and Warren have already done, come out and say they don’t mind paying a little more. It would probably put these nay-sayers into a minority status where they belong. Through my taxes and personal giving, I give a pretty good percentage of my somewhat modest income to helping others and I would like to believe that most in the upper incomes want to do likewise … But maybe I am just too naive on this topic..