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I Guess I’m Still Un-American

5 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.

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18 comments

  1. Brilliant post. Huzzah!


  2. Does he also say, “You kids get off my lawn,”?


  3. Wil: Thanks.

    Postie: No, he’s not John McCain.


  4. Hey, just because I vote for every fricking school levy even though I never propogated my own gene pool doesn’t mean the little rug rats can go galumphing across my lawn!

    McCain loves the little chillun! It’s wives he’s not so good with.


  5. I admire your restraint in being able to listen to the old goat’s bullshit without getting violent. Oh, hold on a minute – violence is usually a right-wing tactic. 😉


  6. You gotta admit. This country does have a history and foundation of anti-tax rhetoric. But can you imagine what the country would be like with a government that provided no services? We would have imploded 100 years ago.


  7. I doubt very much whether our Founding Fathers, those from the Whiskey Rebellion, or any other past Americans who complained and fought back against taxation were simultaneously sucking hard on the federal tit like today’s tea baggers. They’re every bit if not worse than the good for nothing freeloaders they paint welfare recipients out to be so that they can rationalize cutting them off. These people are simply despicable.


  8. Great post.


  9. I completely agree. This kind of thing happens *all* the time, and I get sick of hearing it. Well said!


  10. Ah Billy,

    It is always a pleasure to find like minded folk (can liberals use the term ‘folk?’) Your post reminded me of an older couple that was in my office the other day ranting about how numerically and Nostradamically Obama represents 666 and he is going to tax them out of their Medicare and Social Security. How do you argue with that — or more importantly should you? Also reminds me of stuff I wrote before on tea parties
    .

    I look forward to reading more.


  11. Good post. Most conservative free market fundamentalists fail to realize, let alone acknowledge, that private property, corporate law and just about every aspect of law that ennables those turds to make a dime are examples of exactly the kind of “government intervention” they so vociferously rail against.

    It’s also interesting that conservatives seem to think that the same incompetent government that will run our health care system into the ground can somehow magically build nations we have just demolished with bombs into shining examples of middle eastern democracy replete with free elections, rainbows and unicorns.


  12. We’re giving away our rainbows and unicorns too?


  13. I love these discussions. I view myself as an unabashed conservative. That being said, many of my values directly align with your values. So I am confused.

    The elderly gentleman that you know, I would argue, is stupid. I fully expect that I will pay taxes. Do I like it. Most of the time, no. But… I know what I am getting for what I pay. I am more than happy to expend effort in return for a better society. Seems reasonable to me and that is, after all, what taxes are: effort provided in order to benefit society. Reasonable people should recognize that fact.

    Society is not an arbitrary amalgamation of people. We all agree that we will participate. If you do not agree then you leave, if you stay you are providing tacit agreement. Which means agreement to taxes. I understand this, recognize this, and accept it. If I did not, then I would leave.

    And you can have my unicorn when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. — Sorry, but had to add that one.


  14. Ildi: At his age, his wives are (comparatively) children.

    Chappie: Mostly, he’s just amusing. I have a serious problem keeping a straight face during the actual confrontations discussions.

    SI: I do find it curious that the ‘no taxation without representation’ has morphed into just plain ‘no taxation.’

    Philly: They just don’t get that we all are dependent upon certain government projects — for roads, police, fire, copyright protection, safe working conditions, etc. And, yes, provide for the common welfare.

    Nan: Thanks.

    Laura: And the weird thing is, I keep going back for more from this right wing asshat.

    Ulysseus: The whole ‘Obama is the anti-Christ’ is rather tiresome, isn’t it?

    Lifey: They view the military as the only thing that is right about the government — all else is liberal fluff. And, if your only tool is a hammer (and (let’s face it) the U.S. military machine is the ultimate hammer), all problems look like nails. To a neoconservative, of course the military can solve crimes (international terrorism), bring democracy, and even launch beautiful pink unicorns out of their anal openings.

    Chappie: And if they object to being given the unicorns and rainbows, we are forced to use force. It’s their fault. They make us do it.

    Gareth: According to modern neoconservatism (as defined by the GOP leadership (Steele, Beck, Bachmann, Palin, etc.) then you, sir, are not a conservative. You are a rational realist. (not meant as an insult, honest)


  15. Damnit. I was hoping for irrational. Will work on it.


  16. Gareth: Channel Palin. Or Beck. It’ll work. Trust me.


  17. Good article!

    To a conservative the only thing worth paying for is more cops and more military.

    Oh, almost forget more jails also…


  18. Geologue: Merci pour s’arrêter près. Ils aiment également imposer la bourgeoisie et la conduire aux importantes affaires et au riche.

    (No, I don’t speak French. Babelfish is wonderful. Assuming, of course, that I didn’t just call you a purple frog leg.)



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