Return to a Limited Government, Step 3

Benjamin Franklin

Without industry and frugality, nothing will do; with them, everything ~ Benjamin Franklin

Mike Lee is challenging Bob Bennett for his senate seat. Lee’s website clearly defines his stance on a variety of issues, with the emphasis on Five Steps to a Return to Limited Government. I am discussing each of these five steps, examining them on their merits. Previously I discussed Step 1 and Step 2.

Step 3: Reform the Tax System

Mike Lee’s proposal:

With 50% of wage earners paying little or no taxes, too many voters have no ‘skin in the game’ — and no reason to question new government programs that are funded by the real taxpayers. Until we reform the tax code to give all Americans a stake in their government (through a flat tax), Congress will continue to adopt new entitlements, new bailouts, and new relief programs.

There are two parts to this proposal:

  1. All Americans should have a stake in their government.
  2. We need a flat tax.

It is not necessary to have a flat tax to adjust taxes so that more Americans pay a share of the burden of government. Taxes need to be broad based so the load is shared and those that work hard are not discouraged by having to pay a disproportionate amount to the government.

There are several ways to broaden taxes. A federal sales tax would work, as well as a reduction in tax credits. A reduction in services would also achieve the goal of having a broader load.

A Flat Tax

What we are really looking at is a leveling of the tax burden so that all can help. Which is why Mike includes a flat tax. It seems the two go together. A flat tax is a popular idea. Even I would pay no more taxes under a flat tax of 12%.

It is sad that in some quarters some cry, “Soak the rich!” The wealthy that I am familiar with worked extremely hard for their money and/or took extraordinary risks. This is something we should not discourage. Under a flat tax, a rich man still pays much more than a poor man, yet at least it has a veneer of fairness because the percentage is the same. Perhaps that is why tithing works so well, at least in some churches.

My decades of living in England taught me that eventually even the poor pay higher taxes because under the crushing weight of socialism there is not enough rich people left. When I was a teenager the concern was the “brain drain” where professionals and the wealthy were leaving England for a lower-tax America.


My grade for this proposal is 5 out of 5 because as much as possible should be done to lessen the pain of taxation for everybody. Well did Winston Churchill speak when he said that “there is no such thing as a good tax.”

What do you the people say?

Next Time

Mike Lee’s Step 4: Reduce Government Regulations
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