I’ve been wanting to get to a column expanding on the idiocy of “tax fear” for some time. I say “expanding” because two years ago the issue was broached in the item “Question Austerity.”
I haven’t written about it since and am not now (despite appearances) for one reason: I’m slammed. Just balls-to-the-wall busy. So instead, for now at least, a discussion will have to suffice.
So, a few (admittedly) loaded questions and I’ll turn you all loose. Please refer to each question’s number in providing your comments/thoughts.
(1) Why can’t elected officials, once elected, stop being politicians long enough to actually use the words “we’re raising taxes,” let alone (gasp!) DEFEND taxes as a necessary part of administering public services?
(2) How can so many of those who claim to be against public services and public welfare programs brag, with a straight face, about how Medicare covered all their expenses for recent hospitalizations/medical care – as if Medicare WAS NOT one of the very public welfare programs they so strenuously oppose?
(3) Why is the average American’s knee-jerk reaction to taxes that they are “bad,” when the services they pay for are administered without a profit motive – yet many of these same average Americans wholeheartedly support (so-called) “privatization” of public services, which by definition is performed by for-profit companies, thereby making the services both more costly and less sensitive to the actual needs of the people using them?
(4) If we are really serious about living up to the American ideal (granted, that should probably be a question all on its own – but if we presume to be serious about the notion of equal opportunity and access for all) can we really, with a clear conscience and without contradicting ourselves, also believe that ANY profit should EVER be made on the misfortune of another person?