I Guess I’m Still Un-American5 November, 2009
I am an unabashed liberal. A progressive. I accept that federal, state, county and local governments can, and most often are, a social positive which can make the world a better place. According to Bachmann, Beck, Limbaugh, et al., this means that I am not an American. I don’t like paying taxes, but, when I look around at the benefits I receive, I am seriously under-taxed.
Part of that is that I see that actual connection between adequate funding and government services. Some don’t.
Case in point:
An elderly gentleman that I know is furious that his property taxes increased. Never mind that he has lived in his home for 55 years and, before last year, the last time his property was assessed was 1962. He payed a total of $48 per year in total property taxes. Now, of course, he is furious that he is paying about $1,000 per year. That includes county, city and school property taxes.
He thinks he is overtaxed. And he will tell you. At the same time that he complains that there are not enough policemen in town, that his street doesn’t get paved often enough, that he should not have to pay an extra $100 per year to help cover the maintenance costs for the $100 billion protective levee, that it takes far too long to get his license renewed because of staffing shortages.
He is also furious that ‘that damned commie Obama’ is trying to take away his health care and force him into a government program. He is desperately afraid that his wonderful VA health benefits and his Medicare may be taken over by the government who, of course, are incapable of doing anything right and, oh, by the way, it is fantastic that the township was able to build a new police department using a federal grant but all that pork-barrel spending is out of hand and his federal taxes last year were almost $400 which is a little bit more than his monthly VA pension and why are they soaking him while all the damn Mexicans who are buying up old houses and opening long-closed businesses in town don’t have to pay a dime and why won’t the government help put a new roof on his church which can’t get the money from the Diocese because of the dishonest kids suing the priests.
I try to avoid talking to him. I know that I will get an earful of right-wing scare tactics, neo-Beckian absurdities, and Bachmann-esque GOP talking points.
I guess that paying my way, paying my fair share, working to make sure that government actually provides for the public welfare, just makes me un-American. Strange that, to a conservative, loving America means that you have to hate the government of the United States of America. The government created by the Constitution of the United States.