I have several pet peeves, and one of them is the idea that when Americans get to keep their own money, it somehow “costs” the government. This notion is on display today in a story about fiscal-cliff negotiations, in the Washington Post:
…the generations-old mortgage-interest deduction — which costs the government roughly $100 billion a year… [emphasis added]
Perhaps it makes sense to get rid of the mortgage-interest deduction, provided that it’s a part of a broad and healthy tax reform. That’s a debate worth having. And I also understand how deductions look on a balance sheet. But that’s not the point. The point is that personal property — mine, yours, and that of reporters at the Post – doesn’t cost the government. We shouldn’t use words and phrases that suggest otherwise.
Alas, the idea that our money is our own, not something the government gives us the privilege of keeping, when it so desires, is not the prevaling one today. The bigger government gets, the more it depends on envy and greed to keep it fueled. ("What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine.")
So this isn't exactly a big shock:
Sixty percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll support raising taxes on incomes more than $250,000 a year, long a popular option overall, but also a divisive one: While 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents are in favor, far fewer Republicans, 39 percent, agree.
Additionally, Democrats have roughly similar reactions to capitalism (55% positive) and socialism (53%), while Republicans are much more positive about the former than the latter, by 72% to 23%, respectively.
Wow. Capitalism over socialism by 2 points with Democrats. It's a landslide!