What is patriotism? For many, it means loving your country with an unbridled passion and zeal for the freedoms we have been blessed with. For a brave few, it involves military service and self-sacrifice. And unfortunately for some policymakers in Washington D.C., being patriotic means asking you to pay more taxes.

As though Americans aren’t already spending enough of their hard-earned income to support bureaucratic bloat, there are those in our nation’s capital who believe we should pay more?! But, as Scott Hodge, President of the Tax Foundation, already noted earlier this year, “Americans will spend more on taxes in 2008 than they will spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.”

Those in favor of big government will undoubtedly cry, “It’s not you (the masses) we want to tax, it’s the rich!”

But let’s be crystal clear about this, “soaking” the rich impacts everyone.

It’s a fact: when government taxes something, there is less of it. Higher cigarette taxes results in fewer smokers, higher gas taxes leads to less driving, etc. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that raising taxes on the rich results in fewer wealthy people.

Wealth tends to create wealth. Entrepreneurs, business-owners, and others don’t just sit around twiddling their thumbs; they invest, innovate, and create economic opportunities that empower people to improve their lives. But as government grows and our pocketbooks shrink, the harder it becomes to invest, create new jobs, and offer better wages – and we all suffer as a result.

Being a true patriot means building your country up, not tearing it down.

– James Quintero