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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/25/18

"Taxpayer Money" Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)

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-Apocryphal (often spuriously attributed to Mark Twain)

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Three assertions:

  • There is no such thing as "taxpayer money."

  • Taxes do not pay for government spending. (Nor does debt. No revenue is needed.)

  • Leftists who continue to talk as if "taxpayer dollars" must be collected to "pay for" government programs are undermining Medicare-for-all and every other progressive policy initiative.


I know these assertions run counter to an economic ideology that has been ingrained in us as obvious and irrefutable, known for sure. And I know how easy and seemingly effective it is to say things like: "Look at all the taxpayer dollars going to the military. We should spend some of those taxpayer dollars on healthcare instead." But I want to show, with specific examples, why using this language is a bad idea--a really bad idea.

Maggie's Farm

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There are two reasons why it's important to stop talking like this: 1) Because it's not true, and 2) Because it perpetuates an ideology of how money and public financing work that is not only false, but profoundly reactionary and politically damaging--that is designed to, and will, impede achieving the most basic progressive goals.

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Jim Kavanagh Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Former college professor, native and denizen of New York City. Blogging at www.thepolemicist.net, from a left-socialist perspective. Also publishing on Counterpunch The Greanville Post, Z, The Unz Review, and other sites around the net.

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