Monday, April 4, 2011

The Church of Cut My Taxes

Sullivan offers a pretty even-handed analysis of the leaked parts of Paul Ryan's budget proposal:
I think there needs to be some revenue increases as well - and a return to Clinton era rates for the super-rich. I'd also favor a gas tax to recoup the expense for the unfunded wars, and make that tax directly linked to the costs of war in the future. By the same principle, bank bonuses should become subject to a new tax, to help recoup the lost revenue caused by the banks' recklessness. This is called shared sacrifice. To balance the budget entirely on the backs of the poor will not and should not fly.

But this Ryan plan is an obvious first offer. The Dems, in my view, should neither dismiss nor demonize it. The fiscal crisis is real. But the Dems can suggest tax increases, like the ones above, as well as spending cuts, as the Tories have done in Britain. It's a win-win if that happens.
I'd agree.  Sure, government spending needs to be pared down, but revenue needs to increase as well, and making the entities responsible for the financial meltdown pay extra to me seems both fair and just.  But I also think the GOP has become so dogmatic on its stand of "don't you dare raise my taxes!" that it'll be a cold day in Hell before we see the kind of balanced proposal that would please Sullivan.  We didn't see it in Wisconsin, and I don't think we'll see it in Washington. 

Come to think of it, all-out opposition to any tax increase whatsoever has become such a ubiquitous issue for the Republicans that I dare say they ought to re-establish their party as a church, so they could claim 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status.  Call it the Church of Cut My Taxes, set up Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Grover Norquist as your Holy Trinity and there you go.  Or you could make it a sect of Christianity, i.e., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Tax Cuts, and print bumper-stickers with clever sayings like "What would Jesus Do?  Cut My Taxes!"

I know this sounds like an absurd idea, but the GOP is already so wrapped up in religion as it is. The only proof you need of that statement is the association with the GOP by, among others, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and a thousand and one PACs and non-profits that euphemistically and cynically put the word "family" in their names as a substitute for more appropriate descriptives like "Christian sectarian," "reconstructivist," "anti-gay," "anti-choice," and "anti-muslim."  So just add tax cuts to the list of dogmas of a given faith, and reconstitute the GOP as a religion in and of itself.  And think of the profits!  It worked for a brilliant entrepreneur (massive sarcasm alert) like L. Ron Hubbard, so why not Republicans?

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