Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patriotism and the Welfare State

Today I feature a businessman. In Corporate Tax Dodging is Simply Unpatriotic, Henry Passapera denigrates America's great companies:

As a small business owner, I’m proud to pay my fair share of taxes. Taxes pay for investments we make together to improve our economy, our quality of life, and our country — everything from roads and bridges that facilitate commerce for businesses such as mine, to economy-boosting investments in Social Security and Medicare that strengthen retirement security for seniors and fuel consumer demand on Main Street.So, I get angry when multinational corporations, at times our competitors, use offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share. 

Remember that Passapera is talking about  companies acting legally. One wonders if Passapera himself takes advantage of any tax "loopholes" available to him. Presumably not. Considering his "patriotism," one would expect him to pay the full 35% corporate tax rate.

As to that hodgepodge of "investments" that fuel government spending on behalf of "we," it's probably too much to expect Passapera to question whether government has any right to confiscate our money to pay for them in the first place.

Passapera's conclusion is rather nauseating:

For small business owners, this is not about partisanship or politics. It’s about fairness, responsibility and love for our country.Simply put, if you want to fly the American flag at your corporate headquarters, you ought to be paying your fair share of taxes.

I left these comments:

So patriotism now means working for the "we"; the collective?

There was a time when patriotism meant upholding real American ideals--inalienable individual rights, and a government that protected those rights. America was Founded on the belief that each person could work and trade, earn property, take responsibility for his own life; that each person owned his own life, and should be free to act on his own judgement for his own betterment.

Now, patriotism means seizing more and more of the individual's earned money to feed wealth redistribution programs for people who didn't earn it, run by an increasingly omnipotent and imperial government?

There is nothing patriotic about demanding that government seize more from the earnings of one's fellow Americans. It would be patriotic to demand that every business's tax rate be cut to what Honeywell pays--1%; or, better yet, 0% or no corporate income tax. Kudos to the companies (and individuals) that use every legal means to keep more of what they earn. The productiveness that feeds their growth and profits is the true benefactor of America.

If you want to see why socialism is winning in America, this capitalist provides the answer. Today, capitalists are the last people you could rely on to fight for capitalism.

Related Reading:

Duty vs. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

America: A Nation of Sacrifice?

The Dangerous John McCain

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