Friday, December 17, 2010

Opposing taxes is not conservative--it's just shilling for the billionairocracy

No one wants to pay more taxes than is their fair share of supporting the government that manages so much for us.

But when the Republican leaders say--and they say this daily--that the taxes we pay are "our" money, implying that the government is robbing us--that's only the way the billionaires see it. They don't need social services. They don't need infrastructure. They don't even need national defense, except as a revenue source. So from their point of view of course it's unnecessary.

The libertarian position on taxes is exactly the billionaires' position, and the Republican Party has adopted it. At least when they're out of power. Then when they're in power they spend like drunken sailors and tax the future to pay for it. They say they're starving the beast, but that's ridiculous--especially since the overall size of governments expands under Republican rule. They just lie about it. What they're doing is another anti-conservative ploy: they're borrowing.

And as long as we expect our roads and sewers and national security and street lights to work--as long as we expect cops to come if we need them and dial 911--as long as we expect 911 to work--the taxes we pay are what we owe the provider of those services for services already rendered.

I was raised to believe "conservative" was synonymous with "responsible." Accepting goods and services and then not wanting to pay for them is welshing on a bargain.

And the billionaires owe it too, especially considering how much of the fruits of our labor they now keep for themselves--vastly more than when I was a kid.

There are unfair taxes and there is government inefficiency and waste. But that's an excuse for government reform, not for trying to weasel out of paying your fair share.

If you don't like it, prove it by going off the grid or by emigrating. Don't accept all those goods and services and then pretend "your" money is all yours. That just sounds like an 8 year old boy who accepts all that his family does for him as his entitlement and then refuses to do his chores.

4 comments:

One Salient Oversight said...

It's truly amazing how some conservatives are more responsible than others, and how some conservatives are laden with bad ideas while others are more common sense.

Here in Australia we have two Conservative political parties that operate together in a coalition: The National Party (who mainly operate in rural and country areas and are socially conservative) and the Liberal Party (who operate in city and suburban areas and which have a more libertarian flavour).

From 1996 until 2007, the coalition ran Australia. Like all conservative political parties, they focused upon tax cuts and spending cuts. But what the coalition did not have any time for was supply-side economics and Reaganomics. they promised tax cuts and spending cuts and delivered on it. In fact they cut spending more than they cut taxes in order to force the government into running budget surpluses, and they did this when unemployment in Australia was around 7-8%.

The previous government, under the Labour Party, had run a number of large deficits and, as a result, public debt had reached the unheard of level of 20% of GDP. While the cuts enacted by the coalition hurt, the ensuing budget surpluses eventually paid off debt completely - extra revenue was then diverted into a "future fund" to help fund people's retirements.

The coalition was eventually defeated in 2007 and the Labour Party replaced them. It was a good thing too, since the coalition had become static and arrogant. But when the Global Financial Crisis hit, the Labour Party was able to enact a fiscal stimulus package that saved Australia from going into recession - a stimulus package that was more than affordable since the government under the coalition had completely paid off debt.

There are all sorts of reasons why Australia has weathered the GFC storm. One reason is the demand for Australian resources by China and Japan. Another reason is that the regulations governing our banking system are one of the world's best, which prevented them from the sort of investments that bedeviled US banks in the lead-up to the GFC.

But another reason why Australia has done well is because the conservative government between 1996 and 2007 effectively reduced public debt to zero.

As a progressive, there was much about the coalition that I didn't like. However I do recognise that some major conservative policy enacted in the past decade and a half has pretty much helped Australia survive the GFC.

Conservatives in the US should take note of Australian conservatives: If you want tax cuts, then cut spending by an even greater amount in order to pay back debt. The fact that they have not and will not shows the limits of US conservative ideology and, to put it bluntly, their ignorance and/or stupidity.

One Salient Oversight said...

It's truly amazing how some conservatives are more responsible than others, and how some conservatives are laden with bad ideas while others are more common sense.

Here in Australia we have two Conservative political parties that operate together in a coalition: The National Party (who mainly operate in rural and country areas and are socially conservative) and the Liberal Party (who operate in city and suburban areas and which have a more libertarian flavour).

From 1996 until 2007, the coalition ran Australia. Like all conservative political parties, they focused upon tax cuts and spending cuts. But what the coalition did not have any time for was supply-side economics and Reaganomics. they promised tax cuts and spending cuts and delivered on it. In fact they cut spending more than they cut taxes in order to force the government into running budget surpluses, and they did this when unemployment in Australia was around 7-8%.

The previous government, under the Labour Party, had run a number of large deficits and, as a result, public debt had reached the unheard of level of 20% of GDP. While the cuts enacted by the coalition hurt, the ensuing budget surpluses eventually paid off debt completely - extra revenue was then diverted into a "future fund" to help fund people's retirements.

The coalition was eventually defeated in 2007 and the Labour Party replaced them. It was a good thing too, since the coalition had become static and arrogant. But when the Global Financial Crisis hit, the Labour Party was able to enact a fiscal stimulus package that saved Australia from going into recession - a stimulus package that was more than affordable since the government under the coalition had completely paid off debt.

There are all sorts of reasons why Australia has weathered the GFC storm. One reason is the demand for Australian resources by China and Japan. Another reason is that the regulations governing our banking system are one of the world's best, which prevented them from the sort of investments that bedeviled US banks in the lead-up to the GFC.

But another reason why Australia has done well is because the conservative government between 1996 and 2007 effectively reduced public debt to zero.

As a progressive, there was much about the coalition that I didn't like. However I do recognise that some major conservative policy enacted in the past decade and a half has pretty much helped Australia survive the GFC.

Conservatives in the US should take note of Australian conservatives: If you want tax cuts, then cut spending by an even greater amount in order to pay back debt. The fact that they have not and will not shows the limits of US conservative ideology and, to put it bluntly, their ignorance and/or stupidity.

Ehkzu said...

I can't tell you how much I agree with you. It's why I see a need for conservatives, liberals and centrists.

Our problem is that our conservative party has been hijacked--not so much by fools (they're in the electorate to be sure), as by the servants of the hyper-rich.

And conservative voters have bought off on it, failing to look behind the curtain. Sad, sad, sad.

You make me want to migrate. Plus Australia is a lot nearer than here to the best scuba diving on Earth--the Indonesia/New Guinea/Philippines triangle. We have to travel at least 27 hours to get to the good diving there.That's a slog and a half!

One Salient Oversight said...

Fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, a recognition that those in the past had good ideas, a caution about new ideas, concern about government intrusiveness - all of these things are conservative beliefs and all of them are universally good. As a progressive or even "liberal" minded person, I find these traits to be essential.

The taking over of democratic politics by oligarchical forces - whether they be from the "right" or the "left" - is also something I oppose.

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I went to the Great Barrier Reef a few months ago. Beautiful place. I'm not a diver but I put on some snorkel gear and swam with the turtles and the fishes.