President Obama has recently proposed raising part of the money for his new jobs plan—a mixture of infrastructure spending and “targeted” tax breaks that perform basically the same function as government spending—through a new tax (surprise surprise.) At the suggestion of Warren Buffet, who seems to have made something of a pet out of the Obama administration, this tax affects only millionaires.
Still, Republicans appear to be pouring out in droves against the new tax. But why? Why do conservatives and libertarians seem to consistently oppose taxes on the wealthy? Millionaires and billionaires have more than enough money already, right? What are rich people going to do with all that extra money—buy golden toilet seats or an extra jet? What is it about the right that makes us leap to the defense of people who clearly have it so good already?
There are lots of different responses given to this question. They range from not wanting to “burden our job creators” to a Randian sense of reverence for individual success. But really the fact of the matter is that those of us on the right actually don’t care about the rich all that much. No, seriously.
What we care about is limiting the size, scope and cost of government. We understand that government is force whereas free markets are voluntary cooperation; therefore we want to limit the former and maximize the latter. So, we will oppose any measure to extend the powers of government and any measure to pay for it.
It doesn’t matter to us whether you’re taxing the rich or the poor or redheads or people with tattoos. We couldn’t care less. We’re going to oppose it either way and champion whoever they try to victimize.
The fact that conservatives and libertarians are defending the rich is purely a matter of coincidence.