Wednesday, July 02, 2008
"Government Confiscation" Placed In Terms That An 8 Year Old Can Understand
As I rode my children to summer camp this morning we experienced a significant moment of clarification based on a discussion that took place. I had a local talk radio show on as I was driving. They were discussing TAXES. The host mentioned that Obama's set of proposals represent the second largest tax increases in history.
As the host mentioned his name I said to my children: "See they are talking about Barack Obama and how he wants to raise taxes upon the people with money in order to hand it out to the poor".
Right then my 8 year old daughter chimed in "That's a good thing. We should give money to poor people". It is all my wife's fault. She has been endoctrinating my children to cheerlead for Obama, having them caught up in the historical moment rather than considering practical impact.
I had to think. How could I translate this into a scenario that an 8 and a 6 year old can understand? I asked my daughter:
"Suppose a person came over our house and then told you that she was poor and didn't have any toys. She saw that you have a Wii and a Nintendo DS and then demanded that you give her your DS because she is poor. What would you do?"
Immediately my daughter "got it.". She told me "I would not let her take my DS because it is MINE".
I reaffirmed her view: "Exactly".
"This is what some people believe that the goverrnment should do. Your mother and I work hard. We have both went to school so that we could buy a house and raise children like you and your brother. Imagine if I make $4,000 per month. The government is now taking $1,000 per month. How much does that leave for us to spend on our family? "
She said "$300."
I corrected her "You mean $3,000. Well there are some people who believe that I should pay $2,000 and that leave me with?"
"$2,000 she said".
"Correct. $2,000 to pay for the house, the electricity, the water bill, the gasoline - everything that I need to purchase".
Then she asked "Well - how can the government come in and take my Nintendo DS?"
I told her "Well - when your mother purchased your DS for your birthday she had to use money that she earned on her job. The government doesn't come home and take the money from us - they go to your job and make them pay the money to the government before the worker ever sees it. Think about it - since I use this money to buy your Nintendo DS then the less money that I have the less likely that you will get your DS. Do you understand?"
"I have no problems CHOOSING to give money to people who are poor. This is what we should do. It is very different to have the government to force you to give money. This is why your monther and I work hard and tell you and your brother to study so that you can get a good education. One day you will have children and you will need to take care of them with the money that you make. This is why you need an education so that you can get a good job. You can take care of your family and donate to the poor."