The Daily Caller attended a press conference held by self-described “patriotic millionaires” who demanded that Congress raise taxes in order to address the massive budget deficits the country now faces. Michelle Fields brought along her iPad, poised on the Treasury’s deficit donation page, and asked these “patriots” if they’d like to volunteer their cash right now rather than wait for Congress. Hilarity ensues:
So what’s the lesson here? True patriots won’t volunteer, but insist on being drafted before coming to this nation’s service? That’s certainly a unique view of “patriotism,” isn’t it? That’s because “patriotism” isn’t what drives this message — it’s ideology. It would be equally “patriotic” to demand that the federal government return to a level of spending that we had just a few years ago, when the federal government spent one out of every five dollars rather than one out of every four in the American economy. What makes more involuntary government seizure of private property “patriotic,” especially when — as one of the interviewees admitted in this clip — the wealthy already pay far more of their share in income taxes than any other group?
As far as making no impact on deficits through voluntary contributions, that’s probably true. It’s also true that a tax that raises an average of $70 billion a year, as these proposals claim (using static tax analysis), won’t have any real impact on a $1.3 trillion deficit, either. That’s about 5% of the problem. What would make an impact is to quit spending $3.7 trillion a year in the federal budget, returning us to 2007 levels of $2.7 trillion, or even the FY2001 level of $2 trillion. That’s the actual solution, and the “patriotic millionaires” are simply obfuscating in an attempt to make the actual solution less clear. That doesn’t sound very “patriotic,” either.
You know what was truly patriotic? War bonds in the 1940s. The government sold them in an effort to fund the American military in World War II, voluntarily, and the rich and middle class bought them to support the nation at a time of crisis. If the government wants to do that, and make contributions a voluntary investment, then let Congress authorize that. Insisting on a draft for everyone else while refusing to volunteer yourself is hardly “patriotic.”