Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sorry For Getting Back On This Hobby-Horse, BUT ...

... once again, the Republicans have it completely wrong on the subject of taxes.  We, the people don't think we're over-taxed.  We think you're under-taxed.  And here's the proof.

The problem, of course, is translating this into an election-year message, and thereafter into public policy.  And that requires getting Democrats to get over their fears of talking about taxes, and start talking about all of the things for which taxes pay.  Social Security.  Medicare.  The strongest military anywhere in the world (sorry, Donald Trump, but it's true).  Veterans' benefits.  Our system of railroads, highways, and airports.  Lower prices for farm products.  Our system of National Parks. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which gave the children of the world "Sesame Street."  And on, and on, and on.  To say nothing of the public benefits going to the unemployed and the underemployed in the red states that the red-state Republicans keep trying to cut.

Compared to all of this, the government spending that gets red-state voters riled up--public benefits for the urban poor--take up the tiniest portion of our national deficit and debt.  You know what most of that debt comes from?  From tax cuts for the rich that were supposed to pay for themselves, but didn't.  Instead, those tax cuts became the most lucrative foreign aid program in history--if, by foreign aid, you mean deposits in off-shore bank accounts and the enslavement of foreign workers in sweatshops.  (And, of course, I mean exactly that.)

And don't even get me started on the portion of our national debt that paid for wars into which we were lied.

So, Democrats, start talking about what taxes pay for.  Remind them that taxes, to borrow a phrase, are the price that we pay for civilization.  Remind them of all the people who gave not simply their treasure, but their lives, to help us build that civilization.  And don't be afraid to suggest that real patriots are people who pay their taxes, proudly.  Or that the real freeloaders are the so-called "producers" who produce nothing but empty rhetoric, aimed at emptying our pockets into theirs.

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