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Hogarth judge

December 2016

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Hogarth judge

Sovereignty

All the corporate political ads repeat one line endlessly: if you raise taxes you "lose jobs". If this is true, the government is broken at its most basic level. And this language of course is intended to threaten the government. The people who script these ads are talking like a hostile foreign power.

The ability to define tax rates is a key attribute of government sovereignty. Sovereignty means "supreme power especially over a body politic; freedom from external control : autonomy" (Merriam-Webster)

If governments must compete with other states or foreign governments to give tax breaks to employers, to that extent the government has lost its sovereignty. There is a power it must answer to, and that power is not the voters. Before it's even worth talking about what taxes ought to be, we need to make government sovereign once more. Otherwise, regardless of how high or low they go, only the people without the power to threaten the government will have to pay them. 
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