Taxes and the Left

by Sonny Bunch on May 12, 2012

I always find the left’s take on taxation to be vaguely unsettling. For instance, in this piece on Eduardo Saverin’s decision to renounce his citizenship in order to (potentially) avoid hundreds of millions in taxation, Farhad Manjoo writes:

The question is, what’s fair for him to keep?

Really? Is that the question? The question isn’t “What’s fair for the government to take?”

These two queries may sound the same, but they are in fact entirely different. And the difference is kind of chilling. It just shows that, in the progressive mindset, all wealth is the government’s to be redistributed as the government sees fit. You built a massive company up from the ground floor? You created thousands of jobs and untold wealth and a product used by a billion people the world over? That’s great, you can keep whatever the government decides you get to have. Shut up and be grateful.

Furthermore, I’m always kind of disgusted by the way the left treats paying taxes as the highest form of patriotism. (It has replaced dissent in that regard, apparently. Pretty convenient for our sitting president.) It’s one of the few times you’ll hear liberals unironically appeal to the flag: “Simply by affirming that he’s a proud American, Mark Zuckerberg could show the leadership & grace Saverin lacks,” Anil Dash tweeted. Now, what Dash means by “affirming that he’s a proud American” is “shutting his trap and paying his taxes.”

I think that’s weird.

I’m with Manjoo and Dash and the rest who think Saverin should stick around. It’d be nice if he appreciated the elegant design of our Constitution and the international, ever-expanding business opportunities afforded those who live under Pax Americana–a Pax provided by the umbrella of U.S. protection, military and otherwise. But save me your appeals to patriotism. They ring hollow in your mouths.

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