"Men with guns will come to your house and take you to jail."
Between Pastor Ed and Doctor Sean at the gym as well as several of my regular commenters, this line has been beaten to death of late so I decided to dedicate a post to it and clear up some very serious misconceptions and (surprise surprise) childish dishonesty.
The whole thing really started with these verses from the Bible (2 Corinthians 9, 6-12).
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever."
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
These verses are pretty plain to me: share your wealth and God will reward you. It's basically up to all of us to engage in one, gigantic wealth redistribution system. This simple instruction flies directly in the face of Ayn Rand's enlightened self interest bull shit so I say that any of you who embrace Rand and Jesus have a serious ideological dichotomy to overcome.
The part of this verse that seems to cause all the frothing at the mouth is this one:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Clearly, this means under compulsion from God, not the government. This jibes with everything else JC because it's all about coming to the Lord under your own free will, not being forced. But, as they often do, the right has made this there Biblical evidence for having very little or no taxes. This is especially true of (gasp!, horror of horrors) Social Security and Medicare taxes which help people every day.
Let's assume that Paul, who wrote 2 Corinthians, was also talking about the government. He wasn't but I'm going to say that he was for the sake of this discussion. At first glance, it does indeed seem like we have no choice. Those taxes come out without our permission and we are not cheerful givers. We are being forced to pay them and men with guns will come to our use and take us away if we don't. As is usually the case with right, they don't look beyond that first glance, tap into their inner rage, and create a fantasy world in which Mom and Dad (the government) won't let them stay out past midnight...give them the keys to the car...do what they want to do...blah blah blah...
Because when you start to look honestly at how taxes and social programs started, the majority of this country are, in fact, cheerful givers. The 16th Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states. Social Security and Medicare were passed by our elected representatives (see: TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION) and enjoy the support of the majority of Americans today. In fact, 57 percent of Americans think their taxes are fair while 43 percent and 4 percent consider the amount right or too low. Interestingly, 50 percent think their taxes are too high but many of these still think their taxes are fair and nearly two thirds want taxes raised to cover Social Security and Medicare which clearly illustrates the overwhelming support for both of those programs.
At worst, all of this shows that half of the country has no problem with taxes being taken out of their check. At best, closer to two thirds support this type of taxation. They continue to support elected representatives that would continue to collect all of these taxes. When they cast their vote, it means that they are all now cheerful givers. That includes myself. When I vote for Democrats, I am essentially saying that I want money removed from my check for federal taxes and social programs.
This still leaves a good chunk of people that do not support this type of taxation and bitch about it constantly. Adding insult to injury, they lost (and continue to lose) this debate (see: the worst ever, man!) hence the reason why they froth at the mouth about men with guns forcing them to do things and whine about their freedom being inhibited. My message to you is the same one I give to lazy teenagers:
Get off your ass and do something about it.
Your vote and, more importantly, the time you invest in support of a candidate with your views and getting like minded individuals to vote with you, means that you can change the situation so that no one is forcing you to do anything. By sitting on your ass, the majority ruled and you lost so I guess you'll have to lump it. The history of this country is filled with examples of people that worked hard to change the way things were done if they didn't like the status quo. They pulled themselves up by the bootstraps (hee hee:)) and put people in office that would govern differently.
This is what we have seen in the last couple of years with the Tea Party. I'm certain that anyone who complains about taxes can work with these groups locally to change how the system works. You may end up not getting enough support but, hey, that's how our country works. If you're not happy with it, you are always welcome to leave. Or redouble your efforts.
Rather than wasting your time arguing with me on this site, devote time to ending men with guns coming to your house and forcing you to fork over the fruits of your labors. Democrats have done it throughout history. They passed Social Security, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act. It wasn't easy but they used their power of voting to elect people who would pass these laws. Don't be a lazy teenager who gripes about the rules from the comfort of your parent's basement. In short,
GET TO WORK.