Last night, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Bernie Sanders debated on Tax Reform on CNN. While Bernie’s compelling Pathos may be appealing to children, anyone with a rational mind (or with the knowledge of basic empirical facts) knows that Grandpa Giveaway’s socialist utopia will only mean death and suffering to the individual. Here is the full debate.
Throughout the debate, Cruz advocated for allowing Americans to keep more of what they earn, while Bernie advocated for increased taxes on the wealthy. But as Cruz says, when Sanders says “the wealthy,” he means, “the tax payers.” If you work, Bernie’s plan will benefit the lazy and unproductive and will harm you.
One thing to consider is that neither position was 100% wrong or right. Senator Sanders did express his desire to cut military spending (even though his voting record suggests otherwise). I could not agree with Sanders’s rhetoric in this case more. The US has expanded itself from a republic to an empire. By focusing our resources outward, we disregard the issues we face within the nation. It is time that we pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Perhaps the greatest flaw in Cruz’s argument was his tacit agreement with his advocacy of the repeal of SALT. SALT, standing for State and Local Tax deductions, allows for one to write off their State and Local taxes when it comes time for one to file their federal taxes. Not only could this raise some people’s taxes, repealing SALT would be an attack on decentralization and would lead to a larger federal government in the long run.
By repealing SALT, Congress is essentially double-taxing individuals that their state or local governments may already be providing at the expense of the tax payer. By keeping SALT, however, individuals are more inclined to vote with their feet and even get a tax cut out of it. If one supports local sovereignty, they ought to support SALT deductions.
No matter how one sugarcoats it, taxation is theft. Taxation is immoral. Both debaters were advocating for taxation, so do not revere Senator Cruz as a hero. It is the duty of a libertarian to support lower taxes and less government until it is all gone. Perhaps one of the greatest ways to do this is to fight the massive central federal government. Allowing states to exercise their power granted to them by the 10th Amendment is a fantastic initiator of a process of decentralization.