This famous line from Animal House has become a euphemism for being tricked into thinking something that is bad for us is actually a good thing. Politicians of both parties have an uncanny ability to make us feel as if they are doing something for us, while in reality they are doing something to us.
Think about this scenario for a moment. Your employer convinces you to allow them to take a few bucks out of your paycheck every week to help fund the business. After doing this for twelve months, they make you spend hours of time and possibly hundreds of dollars hiring an expert to get your money back. Then, they do it all over again! How many of us would be celebrating it when we receive that check from our employer?
Yet, this is the time of year when we hear from friends, family and even the occasional acquaintance about how much money they got back from the government after filing their taxes. Most seem to celebrate, maybe even brag. We hear stories about how they got their refund and now they are going to buy a new car, or a new TV or any other new item they’ve wanted. Some are even so happy about it that they go out to dinner to celebrate their newfound windfall! All the while, they are celebrating the return of their own money!
We always hear from politicians about the need to protect the middle class or the working man from all the real or imagined perils of the world. But, think about who is most likely to loan the government their money interest free, then celebrate when that government gives them back what was rightfully theirs. It certainly is not the rich. The rich tend to do a better job of tax planning to ensure they have not given up the use of their own money.
Instead, the middle class and the poor are the people most likely to be taken advantage of in this way. The government has convinced these people that it is a good thing when they get a large tax refund. Then, because of this perceived windfall of free money, other organizations also attempt to exploit these same folks by selling them something they don’t need.
Most scary of all is that many are willing to pay exorbitant fees and interest by getting a refund anticipation loan so they can get their money even faster! Of course, there is an increased push to regulate those very loans because they are considered predatory! Just let that sink in for a minute. The government is implying that those who help people get their own money back faster are predatory but that same government has no problem with borrowing that money from taxpayers at zero interest. It seems to me that perhaps both practices are “predatory.”
As supposedly free people, do we keep saying to our government “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” Or, do we remind our government of why our country was founded. Perhaps those politicians who are carrying pocket constitutions around might want to also remember these words from our Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
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