How far we have moved away from these founding principles, the underlying philosophy, of our country.
While researching what may (or may not) become a blog post, I found myself on the website for the National Bureau of Economic Research. This sounds like a government agency, but according to "History of the NBER" on their website, the NBER is:
a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works.Private and non-partisan sounds like it might be an organization that would be a good source of information about the economy. After reading a bit of one article, I have my doubts about the philosophy behind the organization.
Here is a quote from a 2010 report regarding the tax exemption for employer offered health insurance (emphasis is mine):
This tax exclusion is extremely costly - it reduces federal and state tax revenues by $260 Billion per year and is the government's third largest expenditure on health care, after Medicare ($400 Billion) and Medicaid ($300 Billion).Apparently according to a private, non-partisan organization, any tax that the government fails or chooses not to take is an expense. This is not an unusual sentiment these days. Just enter "tax break cost government" or a similar search phrase and you'll get any number of links which reflect the same belief: tax cuts are giveaways, expenditures and cost the government money. For example here, here and here.
If you accept this idea, it logically follows that anything your earn rightfully belongs to the government, which simply allows you to keep some portion of it for yourself. After all, if it is an expenditure for the government to NOT take the money in taxes, it must rightfully be theirs in the first place.
This in turn leads to the idea that you do not work for yourself, but for others and your only reward is what they decide to give you or let you keep. Another way of putting this is that you are essentially the servant of the government.
If we are the servant to others, we are not free to act in pursuit of our own goals and happiness. If we are not free to act as we see fit, we do not have liberty. If we do not have liberty, in essence we do not have life.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."