Ryan Chartrand

If you listen to the rhetoric of any of the three presidential hopefuls, you’ll undoubtedly hear the word “right” used several times. All of the candidates (Obama and Clinton in particular) maintain that you have the “right” to affordable housing, the “right” to free health care, to “good-paying” jobs, to a comfortable retirement, etc. and that it is the government’s job to provide these rights.

Despite there being no mention of any of the above “rights” in the U.S. Constitution, these politicians insist that these “rights” must be provided by the government because it is the morally right thing to do. But the government can only give that which it takes from others. So this invites the question, from whom should the government take to pay for these “rights”? How is anyone justified if their “right” to something deprives another of life, liberty or property? If I am hungry do I have the right to your dinner? If I did not save for my retirement do I have the right to pilfer your nest egg? If I cannot pay for my health care services do I have the right to send you my bill?

Half of taxpayers only contribute 3 percent to the total tax revenue. Why can’t we expect them to contribute more? Or pay more? It seems sensible to expect those who live off taxation to at least contribute in proportion to what they demand.

Or how about we take the Declaration of Independence seriously and realize that we have the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and not the right to have someone else pay for it.

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