Stimulus Checks vs. Our Rights

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President Obama has declared that “There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.” Indeed, both Democrats and Republicans in the Obama and Bush Administrations have called for vast increases in government spending. Many among the public also agree with this approach: prior to the approval of the latest $787 billion economic stimulus bill, a Gallup poll taken in February observed that a slight majority of Americans were in favor of its passage. A general consensus seems to exist that these “stimulus” packages will help America’s economy through government investment into infrastructure projects.

pick-pocket photoThis may sound enticing, but we must remember where these “investment” dollars come from. The government is not in the business of producing goods or services and therefore does not create any wealth that can be given away, let alone invested. The only funds the government has to give are those confiscated from the paychecks of taxpayers.

Of course, some segments of society may benefit from the “injection” of stimulus dollars. For example, the latest stimulus package helps many of the unemployed by providing them with a $25 increase in their weekly benefits check. Different industries providing services that coincide with Washington’s agenda, such as harvesting renewable energy sources or providing broadband services to rural areas, will also benefit from the billion dollar allocations in the stimulus bill. But their stimulus dollars are coming from your back pocket. All of these “investments” are being made possible at the expense of and without the consent or judgment of the individuals who rightfully earned the money in the first place.

Imagine if a thief stole your wallet but left you a note promising that your money would be “invested” in different industries and those in need “for the good of the economy”. Would you drop your objection to his act of theft, given the allegedly benevolent motive for his crime? Should you?

What our government has failed to recognize is the fact that we are morally entitled to keep what we earn and use it according to our own judgment and priorities, which may or may not include such things as investment and charity. But simply calling redistributed tax money an “investment” does not change its nature as stolen goods. Just as such a thief violates the rights of his victims, so too the government is violating our rights under the guise of “investing” in our name.

If we are to remain committed to the ideals of our founding fathers, that all men are endowed with inalienable rights, and among those are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we must remember that this includes property rights, i.e. the right to earn, keep and dispose of our property as we see fit.

Photo by David Crawford

Posted by on March 24, 2009. Filed under Business & Economics, Government & Law, Spring 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
  • http://www.facebook.com/johngaeus.menor John Gaeus Menor

    Lets put an end to this “our rights” BS right now.

    Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:

    Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 1:

    The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect
    Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the
    common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all
    Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United
    States.

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 4:

    No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

    That’s the Constitution if you don’t know. The government has the RIGHT to tax you, i.e. to take your money with or without you agreement and use it to promote the general welfare.
       You are not morally allowed to keep what you earn, the “right” you think is being violated does not exist.