William Thien

On Senator McCain’s Observation About a “Redistribution of Wealth”

Posted on: June 22, 2012

During the last presidential campaign The Honorable Senator John McCain of Arizona was heard to make the comment that his competition meant to implement what was essentially a “redistribution of wealth.” It was code-speak in that it meant money and the wealth of one class of people would be taken from them through taxation and government programs and redirected to others. Nothing was said by McCain as to where that money would come from and who would receive it. But one can assume that the money would come from those who have money and go to those who don’t. Or, one could assume that the money would come from those who have some money, such as the middle classes, and go to those who have a lot of money, the very wealthy, which has been happening a lot lately for example in the Wall Street scandals. What is important about Senator McCain’s comment is that it demonstrates how powerful the state can be in taking money from one class and giving it to another, whether the money is going up the socio-economic ladder or down.

What is even more important about Senator McCain’s comment is that it draws a picture of the power and behavior of government revenue activity. It shows an understanding and a righteous fear of how government can spread the country’s wealth around, often without the consent of the population.

Obviously Senator McCain’s comment fell on deaf ears during the campaign because he was not elected.

We are aware that it is the desire of many candidates to take money from one social class and give it to others. Many of us feel that is not entirely honest behavior, particularly when the money is taken from those who have earned it and given to those who have not. Many believe those who earn more should pay more in taxes even though when paying at a lower tax rate they still pay more in taxes than the average citizen (though rarely do they use more government services, often using fewer services so their tax burden is often much less, so why should they pay higher taxes?). And this is how the redistribution of wealth question is brought to the fore.

So, there are the re-distributors of wealth in the political arena. We know this to be true. We know there are those who would take from one class and give it to another. We know there are those who would take from one class and spread it amongst all other classes.

But what about those who concentrate wealth? What about those who would take from everyone, through taxation perhaps or through dishonest manipulation of the financial markets, and concentrate all of that wealth amongst a small percentage of the population? The mere fact that someone can raise the question of a re-distribution of wealth raises the opposite question, what about the concentration, the consolidation of wealth?

Though many conservatives believe it is not right to take from those who have earned it, whether they be poor, middle class, or wealthy and give it to those who blatantly have not earned it, we must also be aware that it is also not right to take from those who have earned it and give it to those who would take it whether they need it or not.

Re-distribution of wealth can go more than one way. You can spread it among the masses, or you can concentrate it to a few. Either way, it is wrong to use the government to re-distribute wealth, a sentiment upon which many of us can agree.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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2 Responses to "On Senator McCain’s Observation About a “Redistribution of Wealth”"

As a tax preparer, I concentrate on marketing myself to those who need it most….the middle-class, the single and childless who are legally entitled to nothing, and to people who don’t need to rely on a bank products to pay for their returns.

My point is that in your blog you are discussing that there are various ideas as to how wealth should be re-distributed. Naturally those opinions are based on who it is this person or that person thinks is the “neediest”. Having been in my business for seven years, I can tell by looking at tax returns who is the neediest. Basically, the government simply wants to pick and choose who it wants to help which is why the middle-class is in this predicament. I think my clients and I are pretty sick of being the people who are never entitled to anything. Most of us have minimal to nothing in the way of deductions and credits, make working class salaries (the only one’s making around the $100K mark happen to be couples with both spouses working), but still somehow we manage to meet our tax obligations. I have a handful of clients who are self-employed, most of them suffering business loss. Of the two who actually made a profit, both were shafted up the you-know-what with self-employment tax and one was levied for five years worth of back taxes. It’s kind of easy to have five years worth of back taxes when your income is only $65K, you’re self-employed, single, childless and legally entitled to nothing. Business is inconsistent and unfortunately all business owners have business expenses. Somehow, people like this however are still expected to put money in the till….beyond what can be reasonably expected for them to even save up for….while others jump off a boat or a plane from timbuktu, don’t pay one red cent and won’t be expected to do so. Just fall below an income threshhold and start receiving benefits of whatever sort with the tax dollars of said levied individual. And at the other end of the spectrum are the folks I don’t cater to either. The ones past a certain income level who do nothing but complain about how their refund “isn’t big enough”. Are they kidding? The only reason they even get a refund – if they get one – is because they’re allowed to write off everything under the sun. If they end up paying it’s always something they can well afford…a mere pittance of what their taxable income was from the start.

And here’s another little tidbit of information for you….in case you’d like to use it somewhere on your blog:


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