What would I do with the extra money not taken by government if our tax burden were lower?
That question was posed to me by Blueracine.blogspot.com blogger Diane in a recent post on that blog. Diane had implied that I was after power, control or perhaps a mansion devoid of loving occupants. To the best of my knowledge I have never met Diane, but she sure seems to have some pretty strong opinions about who I am. Anyway, here goes Diane.
My first inclination is to tell you that what I would do with my money is none of your business. But I am a good sport, so I will tell you a bit about myself. I ride a bike that I bought twenty years ago from a friend. I play tennis with second hand rackets. I have no toys beyond those. I could afford the toys if I wanted them, I just have little interest in stuff. If I had more money, my life would change very little I suspect. I might by the $15 bottle of wine instead of the $8 bottle. I would probably try to change careers and start a small local newspaper. I would not aspire to control anyone or gain power over others, as I am more interested in empowering others.
But alas Diane, my interest in a lower tax burden is not just about me, it is about everyone. People typically do one of two things with the money that is available after taxes. They spend it or save it. And unless they are stuffing it in shoeboxes, that money is being circulated into the economy, where it creates jobs, results in improved products and services etc... and more wealth and well being than if it were handed over to the government. The reason is that, on average, individuals will make better choices with their own hard earned money than strangers will with other people's money. This is not intended as a screed against government but rather as an acknowledgement of human nature. People will typically take better care of what is theirs, in this case money, than they will take of someone else's money. This natural human tendency is summed up beautifully in a quote I have read somewhere; " nobody has ever washed a rental car."
Diane, I suspect it might be difficult to shake your stereotypical and false impression of me and other fiscal conservatives. It is far easier to demonize others than it is to try to understand them. In my view, it is neither good for you or the larger society to behave in this manner.