Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are Taxes Inherently Evil?!?

"There are only two guarantees in life: Death and Taxes."

I think everyone's heard that saying before, and quite honestly, it's something that you learn to live with whether you like it or not. But never at any time in my recent life have I heard such a rancor over "excessive taxation". Personally, I don't recall taxes being such a big problem under the previous administration, but once Barack Obama took office, suddenly you'd think we were being "taxed into oblivion".

Cue the hyperbole-drunk peanut gallery.
The Tea Party movement, with its passion for fiscal conservatism that has rallied a predominantly Libertarian and Republican base around events that symbolize government spending, has its chants and anti-government protest signs set for a day that symbolizes what it hates most: taxes.

While last year's April 15 gathering, which saw 300 protests across 50 states, was a "coming out" for the movement, this year, organizers believe, will be a force that government leaders on both sides will have to reckon with. From strategy meetings, presentations to representatives on Capitol Hill, and protests on the National Mall, tens of thousands of Tea Party activists are expected to descend on the nation's capital for tax day.

Leading up to April 15, the Tea Party Express -- a bus tour of activists -- took off from Nevada March 28 and is driving across country, making stops to visit with other activists along the way, to be in Washington, DC, for the protests. There is also a Tea Party-sponsored essay writing contest and a list of 10 pillars, voted on online, to promote demands the Tea Party Patriots will hold politicians accountable to in the 2010 and 2012 elections.

As for the big day, they have scheduled strategy-sessions and meetings with representatives all day, culminating in a 6pm protest at the Washington Monument, says Tom Whitmore, a retired C.E.O. in Virginia and activist for the Tea Party Nation, another leading movement faction. He was at last month's tense health care debate and admits, "That day there was a lot of trouble, people started getting mouthy, pushing."
The irony here is obvious. To date, there hasn't been a tax increase on anyone. 95% of all Americans have gotten some sort of tax relief under Obama, but you sure wouldn't know that if you've been paying any sort of attention to these "Tea Parties".

To help pay for ObamaCare, President Obama will soon allow a decade-old tax cut enacted during Bush's first year to expire for singles making over $200k or couples making over $250k annually.[1] He's also raising the rate of capital gains taxation on these same folks by 5%. Sure, I suppose this technically does indeed count as a tax hike on the rich. But guess what: they're rich. Something tells me they'll be alright, whether or not some misguided idiot from Wheeling wastes a tankload of gas headed to DC today.

Look, I hate paying taxes too. I'd prefer to keep all of my money. I'd also prefer a world where the weather is 68 degrees year-round, where every woman looks like Naomi Bennett my wife, and where eating cheeseburgers helps you get a six-pack. But that's not reality. I doubt any "liberal" likes paying more taxes. Nobody likes taxes. But truth is, without taxes, it's hard for the government to pay for stuff. When you cut taxes, which seems to be the Conservative answer for everything, you have to get rid of some stuff. Not all "stuff" is an entitlement, nor is all stuff expendable. State governments nationwide are putting workers on furlow, and firing teachers and cops just to maintain some semblance of a balanced budget.

In the midst of an economic downturn if you can't bring in enough revenue (ie: taxes) to pay for all the stuff you need to, you are gonna be in trouble. Just because the economy's bad doesn't mean stuff costs less. This isn't "anti-American", nor is it "anti-Constitution". It's just plain ole' common sense.

And this is why anytime I hear some douche talk about the "tyranny of taxation" or "eliminating the IRS altogether", I wonder what planet these folks live on. I mean, seriously, if you don't want to pay taxes, what's the alternative?

Would you like to provide your own personal military (35% of all annual spending)?

Would you like senior citizens to have to work till they drop, rather than fund Social Security and other such entitlements for the elderly (35% of all annual spending)?

Would you like to pave your own streets?

Would you like to educate your own children?

Would you like to create your own fire, rescue, and police services?

Would you like no government safety net (ie: unemployment and COBRA benefits) whatsoever in the event that you lose your Day Job for no reason?

Would you like no government intervention (ie: regulation) whatsoever to protect your financial assets when some Wall Street fat cat takes an unnecessary risk that results in your bank being on the verge of extinction?

Would you like to build and maintain your own parks? Grow and raise your own food (farmers are gov't subsidized)? Deliver your own mail?

The answers to each, and every question above are of course "No". Why pretend otherwise?

Instead of burning gas and polluting the air further by driving to DC today, I wish these TeaBaggers would put some action behind their hollow posturing. If you don't like taxes (funny how everyone was just fine with taxes 16 months ago), stop paying them and stop suckin' the gubb'ment teet. Don't talk about it, be about it!

If the government is so bad, quit it.

Return any refund you might receive this year to the IRS you so hate. You don't need no stinkin' gubb'ment handout! Purchase a plot of land outright and move to somewhere in Montana where you don't need any gov't help. The further away from those pantywaisted tree-huggers the better. Birth and educate your own kids. Find a legal hustle (I'd recommend the clergy) that doesn't require taxes to be paid. Don't drive on public roads. Defend your own home. Return any monies you've received in unemployment. Tell the gubb'ment to keep its stinkin' Social Security, and Medicare, and Medicaid, and ObamaCare. You don't need no stinkin' gubb'ment! Eff' the gubb'ment!

When your little experiment fails after a week (you'll need electricity, which the government also regulates), come back and join the rest of us in the real world.

Question: Considering the fact that most of them have actually gotten a tax cut since Obama took office, what exactly are these nimrods protesting? Do you worry about taxes being increased for the rich?

[1] And by the way, in case you were wondering, only 3% of Americans make more than $200k annually. I seriously doubt most of the folks you'll see at these rallies fall in that category.

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