You Want to talk about less Government and less Taxes? Make My Day.
Here's a deal for you. I'll give you $1000, even $20,000, and I'll make sure that there's less government to bother you. All you need to do is sign over all the added value in your home for the past ten years, all the interest that's built on your retirement savings, and by the way, plan on paying twice as much for gas and 50% more for bread and milk. And, as an extra, expect the price of buying things from Europe to start climbing dramatically, as the dollar plummets in value. Great deal, huh?
Listen to right wing pundits and politicians sorrowfully appraising the GOP prospects this year, you hear them say, again and again, that they believe that people still want less taxes and less government. I say it's time to take this idea on. We should attack the right wingers on the principles they pride the most and hold the tightest.
Yes, there are plenty of people who think they want less taxes and less government. But there are some great reasons and the timing is great to attack this formerly deadly duo head-on.
Right wingers sell the "less government" mantra by suggesting that people want less government because they want to make up their own minds. They don't want government telling them how to live their lives. They don't want government doing what private industry could be doing.
Right wingers push for lower taxes by selling the idea that people deserve to keep more of the money they earn.
The problem is, these policies have not worked. They are based on huge right wing policy lies, distortions and disasters that end up costing people more, hurting people more and intruding into their lives more.
Less taxes and less government go hand in hand as the two biggest issues the right wing embraces. And they should go hand in hand, because they have worked together to weaken America and dash the dreams of tens of millions of Americans.
Sure, you can save 5-10% or more with income tax breaks. But then your real estate taxes go up, you pay more for your kids tuition, health insurance goes through the roof or, maybe you just lose your job to foreign competition or outsourcing. And there's the value of your house and your retirement investments. Do you have any equity left in your home? How much have your retirement savings dropped in value in the past year or two?
How about those credit card rates? Have you seen yours raised from a reasonable rate to over 20, 25 or even 30%?
Sure you saved a few bucks on taxes, but because the right wing leadership gutted regulation of industry-- that's the job of government- the prime mortgage mess happened. And now your house is worth tens or hundreds of thousands less than before.
Then, let's talk about the basics-- milk, bread, gasoline. They're all skyrocketing. When you voted for less taxes and less government, you got, free of charge, right wing policies that dragged us into a foolish, stupidly planned war that is draining our money, our youth, our reputation, and flushing them all down the toilet.
The less government sales pitch is really a hidden way to deregulate industry and sell welfare for corporations and religious schools. It has led to weakening existing regulation of industries and corporations and to the failure to introduce new regulations to deal with new, evolving industries. This is particularly true for the finance industry. This policy of regulation avoidance and elimination has led to the USA facing the worst economic crisis in generations.
While the right wing has characterized big government as a major evil, the progressive vision of government is very different. Government provides the underlying structure and resources to maintain fairness, justice and decent treatment for citizens. Government provides the regulators who carry out and oversee the regulations that rein in corporations. Now we know that failure to keep government adequately funded, with reasonable taxes, leads to massive losses for individuals and for America.
It's easy to throw out the idea of less taxes and less government, but like cheap sex, the consequences of indulging the urge to embrace these right wing core principles are incredibly destructive. They are destroying our economic foundations, and casting families into terrible straits.
Then, we have the right wing's approach to big government-- Huge military, massive expenses for privatization using companies that rip the taxpayer off-- like Halliburton and Blackwater, charging many times the cost of government employees. And then we have the right wing's approach to privacy-- with pervasive spying by espionage agencies that have hundreds of billions in hidden funding. The right wing really doesn't want less government. It wants its version of big government.
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