What About The Rights Of the Rich?

The health care debate that is winding its way through Congress is raising a number of interesting broad political discussions. I touched on some of them earlier today, as did Michael.

The Washington Post posed their concerns that targeting such a narrow segment of the economy (the rich) might dilute the wherewithal to pay down future deficits. Absent from the Post’s manifestly faux concern about deficit spending is an examination of the liberty interests at work in this debate. Liberal activists and trial lawyers have a habit of demagoguing about liberty interests any time a particular class of individuals is singled out for “special treatment” by governing authorities. This approach fits neatly into their victimization theology and almost always passes under the radar of the activist media that enables them. Except when the victims are rich.

Ed Morrisey has done yeoman’s work in breaking this hypocrisy (and the Washington Post’s ridiculous reasoning) down to its elemental level:

This is part of the entire problem with the “progressive” tax system. It punishes people for success and is at its most basic a real consequence of a grievance mindset, in which life is a zero-sum game and winners “steal” from losers. As the economy itself has proven consistently, real wealth expands and standards of living increase for the entire population when capital is allowed to work in the markets. Soaking the rich reduces that capital and stymies the expansion of wealth and creation of new jobs. Government does not create wealth; it eats it…

….Nowhere in the Democrats’ plan do they explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay to reform the health-care system for 300 million Americans, nor does the Post explain why 2.1 million Americans should have to pay for the massive deficits created by Democrats in Congress and Barack Obama.

Regardless of the outcome of the ObamaCare debate, it would be a victory for proponents of private sector wealth creation if it focuses the national debate on where the money comes from and how it should be spent. This country requires a long discussion (once again) about who produces this wealth and the obligations of those producers to the rest of society. One of the reasons for the ridicule and opprobrium directed toward the Tea Party movement (and the denigrating comments about John Galt) in the current political dialogue is that the opponents (i.e. appropriators) of private wealth creation are terrified that most middle class voters may find themselves someday to be another person’s definition of “rich”.

The Right to Make Bad Decisions
Too big to fail?