America is a living proof of the success of capitalism versus the failure of big government. Despite the nation’s solid beginnings and subsequent success, recent efforts in the federal government are attempting to raise taxes, increase spending, and expand the national debt to ourselves and our posterity.
The nation started out as a fledgling colony and went on to become the greatest economic powerhouse in the world. America’s foundations in limited government and free enterprise played that critical role for the nation to have the start it needed to rise as the leader of the world economy.
The factors that drove the American colonists to seek independence were numerous, but perhaps the best known is the issue of taxation. As the British Empire attempted to impose taxes on the colonists without representation, this led to a chain of events that eventually culminated in the colonist successful efforts to independence and the founding of the United States of America.
The story of America’s path to success is grounded in the determination and grit of the Founders to create a nation that would be a place of prosperity for themselves and their posterity. The culmination of this vision did not happen through the power plays of big government bureaucrats and heavy taxes to redistribute wealth, but through the power of the free market working to generate capital and success.
The concept of federal taxes imposed directly on American citizens was rarely utilized in America’s early years, all the way up until the Civil War. Instead, the federal government collected revenue through tariffs and excise taxes. These relatively limited tax policies were based on the Founders’ understanding that money is used best in the hands of citizens, not the government. In the words of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, “[taxes] should not be so exercised as to impede or discourage the lawful and useful industry and exertions of individuals.”
In accordance with the Founder’s principles of limited government and just taxation, annual federal spending of taxpayer dollars in America’s early days only constituted about 3 percent of its total GDP. However, in more recent years, yearly federal spending has run far from the moderation of the early years and now comprises more than 45 percent of the total GDP.
The Washington D.C. mantra of “tax and spend” is out of touch with the roadmap the Founders set forth when they wrote the Constitution. Far from the balance of the Founders, federal leaders are proposing even more taxes, more debt, and more spending, all while promoting the expansion of government programs and handouts.
The preservation of the American republic is dependent on the foundational truths that brought America to greatness. A return to the principles of limited government, low taxes, and fiscal responsibility are critical to safeguarding the prosperity of the nation for many more years to come.