Friday, November 7, 2008

"The idea that a man who makes $100,000 a year should be forced to contribute ninety percent of of his income to the cost of government, while the man who makes $10,000 is made to pay twenty percent is repugnant to my notions of justice. I do not believe in punishing success. To put it more broadly, I believe it is contrary to the natural right of property... and is therefore immoral- to deny to the man whose labor has produced more abundant fruit than that of his neighbor the opportunity of enjoying the abundance he has created...

The graduated tax is a confiscatory tax. Its effect, and to a large extent its aim, is to bring down all men to a common level. Many leading proponents of the graduated tax frankly admit that their purpose is to redistribute the nation's wealth. Their aim is an egalitarian society- an objective that does violence both to the character of the Republic and the laws of Nature. We are all equal is the eyes of God but we are equal in no other respect. Artificial devices for enforcing equality among unequal men must be rejected..."

Today, I read this passage written by Barry Goldwater in his book The Conscience of a Conservative. Though written almost fifty years ago, I was struck by how relevant it is to today's politics.

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