The power to give back

Don Norvell

Being one of the very few South Park Conservatives (not to be confused with regular conservatives) on this campus, I have probably made many enemies here at Kent State. I am not repenting anything. I’m just letting you brace yourself for the position I am about to take.

Our government must cease all foreign aid.

No doubt, my opponent will go into great and gory detail about the desperate plight of the peoples who comprise the “two-thirds world.” I do not begrudge him for doing so. No one can deny that socialists have good intentions.

However, the sad truth is that the lack of human self-discipline erects a wall of separation between good intentions and good acts.

The socialist plan to helping the poor is and always shall be government intervention.

On constitutional grounds, foreign aid from our government is wrong because our government lacks the authority to pay subsidies of any kind. Since the government is out, the responsibility falls upon individual citizens.

In spite of being the wealthiest nation in the world, most U.S. citizens cannot afford to give very much to worthy causes because of poor financial skills. It does not matter how big your house is. If you have a big mortgage to match, you are only middle-class.

In my financial education, I have learned that people whose primary source of income is a job have the fewest tax advantages.

The reason is the government gets paid first. Charitable donations must come from your take-home pay, and then you wait for a refund at the end of the year. By learning to handle your money better, you can donate before the government is allowed to take anything.

This is why parks, universities, libraries et cetera are named after wealthy people. Their expert financial skills allow them to navigate the tax laws so the government gets paid last. Paying the government last allows them to spend more money philanthropically. It requires dedication, but a financial education will improve your life and the lives of your beneficiaries.

While learning about investing will take time, there is something else we could do now if there were a strong enough consensus: National sales tax.

By replacing our obnoxiously complex income tax system with a national sales tax, the government always gets paid last regardless of your financial skills. (After all, the government works for us; not we for the government.) Charitable donations are not sales, they are not taxed. The poor will receive a greater benefit.

Love for your fellow man cannot be compelled by the government; it must originate in our souls. A nation of financially savvy individuals can greatly outperform any heartless mechanism of government.

If money equals power, that power should rest with the people directly. With tax reform and financial education in our schools, our nation will give more not only from the top of our checkbooks but also from the bottom our hearts.

No government can beat that!

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].