By now I imagine you know about this:
Tom Perkins suggested Thursday that only taxpayers should have the right to vote -- and that wealthy Americans who pay more in taxes should get more votes.Looking at the response to Perkins over at Free Republic, I see that the Freepers like the first part of what he says, at least -- but what really chaps their hide is giving the franchise to people on any form of public assistance:
The venture capitalist offered the unorthodox proposal when asked to name one idea that would "change the world" at a speaking engagement in San Francisco moderated by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky.
"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.
"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"
I believe there should be property requirements for voting.(I love that last bit -- it's OK if you're collecting Social Security and Medicare, as long as you "do not receive more in federal benefits than you pay in taxes." Get cancer and use Medicare to pay for your treatment, which turns out to be really, really expensive? Then you lose your right to vote. Or is it a mistake to take Freepers' ideas to their logical conclusion?)
The Founding Fathers thought that only people who had a stake in the country should have a vote. That has changed. Has it changed for the better? I don’t think so.
I think that if you take public assistance you lose your vote-—conflict of interest and all that. . .besides, if you say in effect, I am no longer able to care/take care of myself or family and I rely on the government to pay my bills and give me money, you are acting like a minor . . .therefore, as a minor you can’t vote.
Only people with a stake in the country should have a vote.
So that sounds to me like only net-tax-payers, property owners, and veterans (their stake is the skin they risked)....
... I also think that only land-owning citizens should have voting rights.
If you receive a check with any Federal logo on it you should not be able to vote because of a direct conflict of interest.
If the Fed is your bread and butter then you cannot be counted on to do what's right when tough choices are called upon.
"If you receive a check with any Federal logo on it you should not be able to vote because of a direct conflict of interest."
That's not a bad idea.
So, in order to vote, you would have had to pay taxes, but if you work for the federal government, are on Welfare, food stamps, Obamacare, Medicaid, Social Security or Medicare, you would not get a vote.
As a senior citizen, I take umbrage with that. I worked all my life and paid taxes, including SS and Medicare. I own property and still pay taxes on that, as well as my ss check. I think I have earned my right to vote.
But you do own property, pay taxes every year and do not receive more in federal benefits than you pay in taxes?
Then you should be entitled to a vote.
The underpinning of all this is an idea that's pretty much universal on the right -- an idea variously (but incorrectly) ascribed to de Tocqueville or Benjamin Franklin:
Spend three minutes surfing the conservative web today, and you're likely to come across variants of this quote, usually attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, maybe even a couple times:(It seems to be traceable only as far back as a 1951 Daily Oklahoman newspaper column.)
A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham dropped it on her blog, with the insight "Alexis de Tocqueville called it 200 years ago." The instigators of the Free Republic message boards are rallying around the sentiment. The lurkers over at pro-gun forum GlockTalk are big fans. Fundamentalist Christian non-profits are using it as their Facebook status. Even real professors from real colleges are invoking the bogus quote.
The theory is that people who collect from the government have no voting interest other than arranging more cash benefits for themselves, and that evil liberal Democrats want to expand public assistance until so many people are collecting checks that Democrats will win every election forever. I'm really not sure how we're supposed to keep the economy functioning under this mad scheme of ours -- I guess the economy keeps going because Tom Perkins and other "makers" will just keep working, because they just can't help themselves, given their extraordinary work ethic and all that ... unless we push them too far and they "go Galt."
Oh, and people who work for the government shouldn't vote either, because they have a "conflict of interest."
I imagine Perkins believes all this, too -- our billionaire wingnuts tend to absorb the same brain-cell-destroying memes from the wingnut media that their less wealthy ideological soul mates do.
ALSO: Check out PERRspectives' depiction of how good it is right now for the 1%, in charts. Also, here's who pays what in taxes, based on percentage of income (source).