One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.
The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That’s what lies behind the modern right’s fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty.
My one qualm with this is the line regarding the liberal view: "It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate." Based on my conversations with conservatives, I think most of them also believe that the affluent have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate. They simply dispute that the government has a right to force them to help via taxes. They view it as forced charity. This is what I was trying to address in the preceding post on taxes.