Confiscating Income

3 February 2004

”Tom” wrote to Tobias and was pretty forceful in what he requested in terms of a response to some very specific questions about the Democrat’s view on taxation. You can read about it here and follow the link.

Now we’ve got some view into how Wesley Clark sees the tax picture, but – better yet – we’ve got a Craig Cantoni rebuttal.

Let’s Confiscate Wes Clark’s Pension

by Craig J. Cantoni

Presidential candidate and retired general Wesley Clark is running the standard Democratic class-warfare TV ads. In one ad, he says that he will make sure that millionaires pay their fair share of taxes.

As a millionaire and a former Army officer who served in the active Army and eight years in the Army Reserves, I have this to say to Wesley: Go to hell, you thief, sir!

Clark has been on the government payroll so long that he has no idea of what it is like to work in the private sector all of one’s life and save money for retirement in the face of confiscatory taxes. With his collectivist philosophy, he should have served in the Soviet army.

Clark has a government pension and government retiree health care, two benefits that he received on a tax-free basis over his military career. Being self-employed, I do not have a pension or a retiree health plan provided by the Army or by an employer. Moreover, the tax code has discriminated against me and millions of other self-employed taxpayers by not giving us the same favorable tax treatment for retirement savings and health insurance that Clark has received. Unlike Clark, we paid income taxes on the money that went into our retirement savings. In a real sense, we have subsidized Clark’s tax-free retirement benefits. Now he wants to thank us by raising the taxes on the investment income that our savings earn

My millionaire status comes from my retirement nest egg, which is the result of 30 years of working hard, living below my means, and saving what I could from what was left over after paying taxes that consumed half of my income. I’m so frugal that I don’t even have a cell phone. How does Clark want to reward me for a lifetime of saving in the face of high taxes? He wants to leave my wife and me with less money for retirement, less money to pay our medical expenses and less money to send our kid to college. At the same time, his pension is guaranteed by the government.

The pension alone makes Clark a millionaire. His financial statements show a military pension of $85,000 per year. If he draws the pension for 20 years, he will receive a total of $1.7 million, guaranteed, with no fear that the government will wreck the economy and destroy his nest egg. His pension is in addition to his other income, which was $1.5 million in 2002 from speaking engagements and his CNN commentary.

To borrow the Democrats’ favorite whine, it’s just not fair that millionaire Clark has a pension that the average working bloke can only dream about. In the interest of fairness, we should send government agents to his home, point an M-16 at his head and confiscate his pension. According to him and his fellow Democrats, it’s the American thing to do.

  • * * * *

Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He can be reached at

Filed under: