A Response to David Boren

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” – Frédéric Bastiat

Recently University of Oklahoma President David Boren penned an OPED in which he defended receiving stolen funds taken from Oklahomans through government force and coercion known more commonly as the state income tax.

I know, I know; the words may seem harsh, but it is the truth. For those of you who believe that paying taxes is voluntary, try not paying them and see what happens.

The Oklahoma state income tax is nothing more than a penalty on work and one in which is in fact counterproductive to the growth of Oklahoma’s economy and our prosperity as a people.  Recently, I attended the Growth and Opportunity Summit in Tulsa which was conducted by OCPA, AFP, and the Tulsa 9.12 Project. One of the speakers, Travis Brown, has created a fantastic chart that shows you the direct impact of higher taxation and the movement of money it creates. Check out www.HowMoneyWalks.com for more info.

I understand why Mr. Boren would attack a decrease in taxation, after all his institution directly benefits from the labor of others, and so I was not surprised or upset by him writing the OPED. However, I am growing increasingly annoyed at the continual fear-mongering conducted by those who benefit from big government. Ultimately their rally cry boils down to this, “We know better than you the ways in which to spend your money.”

I believe they are wrong.

Big government, with all of its great minds and all of its grand schemes, cannot centrally plan our society into prosperity. It can, however, benefit a few at the expense of the many through continual tax and spend proposals.  If Governor Fallin wanted to see real growth and opportunity in Oklahoma, she would have fought to abolish the state income tax all together instead of trying to barely nibble around the corners. Boy, I would love to see Boren’s face if that were ever to be.

The proponents of big government will always use the fear of catastrophe to keep you from keeping your money but in reality if entrepreneurs and private industry were able to conduct themselves in a free market, the outcome would be to the benefit of all.

Mr. Boren, in his OPED, decried the tax decrease as the downfall of education, roads, and bridges and even suggested that overcrowded prisons “are ticking time bombs”. This type of fear-mongering has become all too popular for big government advocates to spew, but Mr. Boren went a step further in stating “This proposed tax cut is certainly not based on the principle that those who can reasonably contribute more should do so. Have we forgotten what Jesus said about the value of the widow’s mite?”

So now Jesus is an advocate of government theft?

I, like Mr. Boren, also believe that Oklahomans are a generous people. I too believe that Oklahomans want the best for their communities and their children. But giving should be just that, a voluntary interaction between two or more people. If Mr. Boren’s idea of generosity means stealing from Peter to give to Paul, then just how generous is it?

I guess where I differ from Mr. Boren is that I believe in the people of Oklahoma enough to know that Oklahomans will and can take care of Oklahomans without the force of the great overseer that is big government or its theft of all.

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