Freedom, Progressivism, and Taxes
In the Aug. 24 edition of the Isanti County News, David Greer of Cambridge argued that we should not raise taxes on the rich. In making his argument, he had at least one factual error, one logical fallacy, and one bad analogy.
One factual error is that our basic freedoms are rooted in private property rights. While private property rights are important rights, our basic rights and freedoms are actually rooted in the Constitution, not in our property. Although the word “property” appears several times in the Constitution, never is it used as a foundation for our rights or freedoms.
His logical error is that he implies that if the rich are not safe in their property rights, none of us will be safe. This is a slippery slope fallacy. In fact, most progressives who argue for increasing taxes on the rich generally argue for decreasing the tax burden on everyone else.
His bad analogy is that Hitler’s treatment of Jews and others he prosecuted is somehow similar to the way the rich are taxed today. There are very few things that should be compared to Hitler’s treatment of Jews; asking the wealthy to pay a slightly higher tax rate is not one of those things.
Every citizen in a republic should do his/her fair share to help the republic and his/her fellow citizens. There is nothing wrong with asking more of those who can do more.