People are much more responsible with their lives when they know there is no other choice. I remember, to give one personal example of this, that whenever my mother would go out of town for a week or so, I would suddenly start picking up after myself, giving the dog his medicine on time (and taking my own), loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc. But whenever my mother was around, I was always having to be reminded to do those things or else they would not get done.
Similarly, people are more charitable with their money (or their time, or whatever they are donating) when they know that other people have no choice but to rely on their charity.
There is a great constitutional argument to be made against the income tax, an argument I am not fully equipped to make at the moment, but let’s grant for argument’s sake that it is entirely constitutional. Even still, it is a matter of record that cutting taxes increases revenue for the government. Of course, without any taxes of any kind, there would be no revenue. But there is a level of taxation that, once passed, begins to have adverse effects, opposite of those professed to be desired.
When President George W. Bush cut taxes for all income brackets, the government brought in record revenues. That is a matter of cold, hard data. (The deficits came about by spending all that revenue and then some.)
As long as you don’t overspend the forthcoming tidal wave of revenue, cutting taxes for everybody helps everybody. And cutting taxes for the rich especially helps because they have more money to do with what they please, such as to donate to charities, which they do plenty of, more so when they have more spending money.
So in Obama’s neverending holy quest to raise taxes solely on the “wealthy” (families with an annual salary of $250,000 or more) as a means of enacting social justice, or “fairness,” he would ultimately hurt those people who rely on the charitable giving of the wealthy. The wealthy would not only have less disposable income, money that they can afford to give away, but they would also figure that the government, with their tax money, will be helping the needy. “I don’t need to donate,” the wealthy figure, “because the government will take care of them.”
The “fiscal cliff” showdown is now over with, but these things are always good to talk about. And despite my hand-wringing above, I still say we should have let the Democrats have their way. Instead, we compromised with them, so Republicans will be blamed when–not if, but when–things to badly. Such is life when you’re on the right side.