Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Everybody Likes Robin Hood

Many Democratic candidates advocate for a more graduated system calling for higher incomes to bear a higher tax burden. Republicans often label this as socialistic, wealth redistribution, summing it up as, "stealing from the rich to give to the poor."

Does anyone remember where that phrase comes from? It's the premise for Robin Hood, the outlaw from Sherwood Forest who tried to combat the inequities imposed by the Sheriff of Nottingham. At that time, the Sheriff forced the peasants to carry the entire tax burden all for his personal and professional benefit, as he lived a lavish life aimed at overthrowing the absent King Richard with Prince John.

From what I remember, Robin Hood, the one who stole from the rich to give to the poor, is the hero of the story. We cheer for him to right the wrongs of society.

I can guess the Conservative Republican response. They will say that the story focuses on over taxation. It is a condemnation of high taxes, and we should use it as a lesson that advocates tax cuts. That just is not the case.

Robin Hood is a tale about the unfair distribution of taxes. The wealthy and powerful gave too much (all) of the burden to the lowest class. Those people were left with a difficult choice, pay the taxes and forgo necessities, like food, or suffer the punishment for not paying the taxes.

The current process of tax breaks, itemized deductions, and loopholes allow politicians to reinvent a disproportionate tax burden for the all-to-shrinking middle class who are too rich for government subsidy and too poor for investment-based loopholes.