Understanding Infrastructure in Government Of, By, and For the People

Infrastructure: It's the central basis of Obama's "you didn't build that" argument toward businesses...at least as he backtracks to sound like less of a socialist (unsuccessfully). I spent some time talking about this last week, but a conversation I had over Sunday lunch left me with one more thing to say.

Government is not a separate entity, existing on it's own, independent of citizens. This is why I continue to point out that government does not have it's own money, but rather it stewards our tax dollars to spend it as the people direct. Government IS some the people, elected by all of the people, spending the people's money for the people's better good.  We created government to do this because we all needed such things as roads and police protection, and it simply made more sense to caucus together as a whole to provide these services as one entity. That's what government "of the people, by the people and for the people" means.

So when President Obama stands up and says "you didn't build that, someone else helped you along the way" it's missing the point of America entirely. Let's pretend our old friend Mr. John Q. Taxpayer owns the Acme Widget Factory (maker of Widgets, Cogs and Sprockets for all your widget, cog and sprocket needs). Now, Mr. Taxpayer does ship his widgets, cogs and sprockets on public roads, that part is true. Mr. Taxpayer's business is protected by police, which is paid for by taxpayer money, this part is also true.

What President Obama fails to point out is that Mr. John Q. Taxpayer is, just as his name suggests, one of the tax payers who pays into that public fund that pays for roads, bridges, police departments, etc. As a matter of fact, since we have a progressive tax system in almost all types of taxes, he pays more taxes on his annual salary of $500,000 than his typical employee, who makes an average of $40,000 a year, both in terms of actual dollars and percentage. He also buys more products than his typical employee (since he earns a lot more than that employee) so he pays more in sales tax. He also has a bigger house, so he pays more in property taxes than his typical employee.

All around, Mr. John Q. Taxpayer is paying a larger portion of the tax burden that goes into the fund that pays for roads, bridges, and police protection for his business than his average employee.  So even if one can claim he somehow used those services more than the average consumer, he also paid more for those services than the average consumer!

The bottom line is this: Because we live in a nation with "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," it turns out Mr. Taxpayer DID take care of the roads, bridges, and police department himself, because he paid taxes into the public fund that paid for those services, and paid more than the average person. Mr. John Q. Taxpayer paid for those roads, those bridges, and that police protection. Yes, Mr. President, he did do that. Welcome to America.