Audio: “You don’t deserve to keep all” your money, Dem Congresswoman says

posted at 4:05 pm on September 16, 2011 by Tina Korbe

It was the top question of the night. Napa Tea Party Teen Tyler Hensley stood up at Monday’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate and asked the GOP presidential candidates, “Out of every dollar that I earn, how much do you think I deserve to keep?” And conservatives everywhere wished Hensley could have put his question directly to the president.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is no Barack Hussein Obama, but she did recently reply to Hensley’s query on the Don Wade and Roma show on WLS-AM. Her answer was instructive.

“I’ll put it this way, you don’t deserve to keep all of it. It’s not a question of deserving, because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together,” Schakowsky said.

On some level, Schakowsky is right. The question is far more complicated than it appears.

At first glance, it’s tempting to reduce the argument for little to no taxation to this: “He who possesses it (money, land, whatever) ought to keep it regardless of whether he deserves it simply because it’s his.” Nobody has the right to forcibly take what’s not his — it’s called stealing. But, as appealing as it is to equate government taxing and spending with stealing, in a constitutional republic like ours, it’s simply not.

The federal government has property rights, too. For, in the end, a property right is simply “the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used.” Sad to say it, but the government does have that authority over the resource of our tax dollars. But, crucially, it derives that authority from our consent, the consent we express in the U.S. Constitution, which does give the federal government the power to tax (although it’s worth noting that it originally wasn’t constitutional to tax income — it took the 16th Amendment for that). When the federal government taxes us, then, it doesn’t really take our money. We freely — if indirectly — choose to appropriate our money to the federal government by voting in the Congress that establishes the tax rates in the first place. We consent to giving the federal government authority over a particular portion of our private resources, making those private resources public. In effect, we cede our right to that property to the federal government. The federal government, then, has a right to our tax dollars because we give it that right.

The question, then, is not: How much money do our representatives in government believe we deserve to keep? Rather, it is: How much do we think we deserve to keep, to command as we wish? How much do we think the government deserves to command, to use for those few things that only the collective can provide (e.g. defense!)? In other words, it is ever and always a question about the size, scope and purpose of government. And our opinion on that will necessarily inform whom we elect.

This raises another question: Why don’t liberals think they deserve to keep more of their money than they do? The first part of Hensley’s question reveals the answer. He didn’t ask, “Of every dollar I possess, how much do I deserve to keep?” He asked, “Of every dollar that I earn, how much do I deserve to keep?” For there are many means by which we come by property and not all of them involve earning. But what we earn, we are much more loathe to part with stupidly. That might explain why earners don’t exactly want to hand their hard-earned cash to a government that has proved itself, time and again, to be horribly irresponsible with tax dollars.

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It’s not something we decide to do together you sack. Not anymore. You’ve pretty much decided to do the decision-making for us. We’re too dumb to keep our hard earned cash. And if we don’t make any (or if we make it via welfare) then maybe that’s what you’re talking about. My God, liberals are such ignorant worthless piles of stink.

hogfat on September 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM

BTW, I have the God-given right to keep every penny that I create and/or work for you liberal/commie trash. Unless I consent, no one has the right to take ANY of it from me. If you succeed in doing so, it just means you have a bigger gun than I do.

hogfat on September 16, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I’d consent to 5 maybe 10 %, but that would be for local, state, and federal all together.

AshleyTKing on September 16, 2011 at 9:37 PM

If I don’t deserve to keep something, then how can it be mine to begin with? I don’t accept the premise of the question.

OhioCoastie on September 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM


It’s an idea stuck in their sideways, somehow. It doesn’t belong in any of this. I can’t get my head around what it is even supposed to mean.


It’s bugging me.

So, forgetting my point of view, and taking the other side: The United States Government deserves my taxes? ‘Cause that feels downright Atlas Shrugged.

Axe on September 16, 2011 at 10:58 PM

You don’t get to keep all your money…well, unless you’re Jan Schakowsky’s tax evading husband.

Robert B. Creamer, the husband of U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, was indicted today on federal charges of operating three check-kiting schemes that defrauded banks out of at least $2.3 million while he ran an Illinois public interest group.

Creamer, 56, of Evanston, was charged with 16 counts of bank fraud for allegedly swindling nine different financial institutions. He also was charged with 18 counts of tax fraud.

xblade on September 16, 2011 at 11:48 PM


I thought the federal gov could always tax income but since it was a direct tax, they had to apportion the revenue by population size/congressional representative number. I thought that the 16th Amendment “relieved” the federal gov from the apportionment requirement (allowing it to dispense the income tax revenue as it sees fit, unlike other direct taxes – see article 1 sec. 2 Clause 3 and sec. 9 clause 4). The 16th didn’t give the federal gov a new power (direct taxation) but altered how that power was exercised (no more population-based apportionment).

Ed (or anyone else) care to enlighten or correct me on the above?

batter on September 17, 2011 at 12:31 AM


You gotta’ understand 1 This is Chicago (Shuh-KA-Go. 2 Both Schakowsky and Creamer are Democrats. Thus they both get big discounts not available to people of another political “faith” or geographic region. Then too think of stealing money from taxpayers as not that of a robbin’ hood but rather a Robin Hood. She needs money for good lawyers to keep hubby from being a 30 year cellmate of Blago. Think of the unpleasant possibilities and with the suggestive name “Creamer” to boot.

MaiDee on September 17, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Schacowsky is a known communist – she was gloating over how the public option was nothing less than a back door to destroying private insurance companies during the obamacare debate – when liberals where mightily trying to portray the public option as “leveling” the “playing field”.

Another known communist from chicago with a tax evading fraud of a husband to boot.

nagee76 on September 17, 2011 at 4:23 AM

BTW, I have the God-given right to keep every penny that I create and/or work for you liberal/commie trash. Unless I consent, no one has the right to take ANY of it from me. If you succeed in doing so, it just means you have a bigger gun than I do.


Noelie on September 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Stuff it, Jan! Screw you and the horse you rode in on. If you and your thieving colleagues weren’t so flippant in your slanderous waste of our hard earned tax dollars, we might be a bit more willing to let the gov’t take a “bit” for necessary operations. But no, you thieves gloat over every dollar and waste it like it was toilet paper. And you have destroyed our grandchildren’s futures with your incompetent spending. You and your colleagues suck.

Roger Brown on September 17, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Roger Brown on September 17, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I heart you, Roger Brown.

DrMagnolias on September 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

This is part of why Texas is doing well and why we’re getting so many refugees moving here from other states (and other countries).
Keep more of what you earn, and don’t vote for wealth confiscators like this woman.

mad scientist on September 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Why is this even a question? The “science is settled” as it were.

I recall President Bill Clinton answering a similar question in a Townhall meeting, something to the effect of:

“…because the government knows how to spend your money better than you do…”

Who are we to question our leaders’ collective ability to know how to spend our money better than we do?

in_awe on September 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM

She reps a heavily Jewish district north of Chicago. She is safe. NY-9 safe!

WashJeff on September 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Actually-it’s not so heavily Jewish anymore.
Islamabad on the Lake is part of her district-I know because I had the misfortune of living in it.
She’s getting reelected in part because of the muslim vote. it’s obvious to the jihadists in West Rogers Park(and parts of Skokie0 that Janny is a self-loathing Jew if there ever was one.

Btw: In West Rogers Park there’s a playground named after Januz Korzac. I wonder if the hijabed and abayaed slaves who let their children romp there realize that the park is named after a Jewish martyr who was murdered in an event that many of them would claim never really happened.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM

Massa treat us guuud here on the plantation! Let’s us keep some pennies.

Herb on September 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Actually, it IS a matter of how much do we deserve to keep. And the answer is all. That doesn’t do away with taxation–it does away with the Marxist INCOME tax, which was never the intention of the Founding documents.


q2600 on September 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM

She mention police and fire. How much of your federal tax dollars go to local police and fire departments?
Do these people forget that there are state and local taxes?
After we add up:
Federal income tax
State income tax
payroll taxes
social security taxes
gas taxes
sales taxes
property taxes
cigarrette taxes
alcohol taxes
misc local taxes
government fees — form filings, DOT etc.

What percentage are we at?

dextrolite on September 19, 2011 at 10:27 PM

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