Friday, April 17, 2009

Teabagging

The Republican Party is mad Congress won't extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich, so they are portraying their automatic expiration as "taxation without representation."

You would think they might be glad: the increase in government revenue actually contributes to a smaller budget deficits in the years ahead.

It's instructive that the Republicans choose to frame the country's problems this way. If tax paying Americans can be convinced that "government spending" is bad, then the government will just spend it on whoever thinks it is good. It's not like the Republican objective is to end taxation, or big government, or even big government spending. The objective is to minimize public expenditure on the public, because the government's role is to serve the rich at the tax payer's expense. Convincing working people that getting anything in return for their taxes is wrong is a central component of this.

Nobody at any level of power or influence in our society has any illusion that ours is not a system of big government, and, by consequence, a system of big government spending. The practical effect of arguing against "big government spending" within a system of big government spending is that it inevitably preferences certain kinds of spending over others.

This is why when the Republican Party rails against big government spending, it just highlights spending it disagrees with. Assistance to the unemployed is socialism, but the military-industrial complex -- in which the public guarantees the profits of private corporations -- is a patriotic necessity. So it is important to be able to discern between spending that benefits us versus spending that does not.

6 comments:

erin4iraq said...

IOZ sent me and it looks like I get the honor of christening your blog with a first comment.

I understand your point, and the cynicism that motivates it, but think you may have missed the point of the demonstrations. It was not just a demonstration against Obama or Democrats, but Republicans as well who have abandoned one of the primary tenets of conservatism: that government should be limited to some basic functions so that people get to keep more of the wages they earn, instead of turning it over to benevolent overlords who decide for them how the money will be spent. Dems give you stuff because they want you in their pocket. You know - first one's free, kid.

John O said...

Congratulations!

Such as it is, since I get all of 20-50 hits/day.

But I read IOZ pretty religiously, as it were, and he led me here, and I got all of three posts in when I said to myself, "Self, this lady gets it."

So, you're added to my blogroll, and I am confident we see things through the same eyes, which is a modern form of magic as far as I'm concerned.

Kudos, and good luck to you.

Coldtype said...

IOZ has a damn good eye. You're on my roll as well so I'll visit often.

Anonymous said...

erin4iraq,

Cynicism? Conservatism has NEVER been about limiting government. Just ask Eddie Burke and others.

Nor is "fre-market capitalism" about limited government, unless said government limits something they don't like, and loves it when they limit stuff they like (patent protection, see).

Even the most currupt and jaundiced Democratic precinct captain can't match the current level of cynicism of today's Republicon party and its enablers at FOX.

IOZ sent me to watch this site for miscreants such as you :)

Lady--keep up the good work. You're dead solid perfect!

Brian said...

erin:
I strongly disagree that the teabaggers (heh heh heh heh) are bipartisan in any way. This is 100% Republican Party hackery. Along with a lovely dose of sheer Yellow Elephant Moran-ity.

These people were all foaming at the mouth for military spending and ever growing police state activities. Let's just say I don't buy their conversion on the Road to Damascus.

But...But...But...Our Maxdimum Leader BOWED TO A KING. OMG Vapors!

erin4iraq said...

brian, you give the republican party far too much credit