October 9, 2008

Friedman makes sense

On two points--patriotism, and taxes.
Op-Ed Columnist - Palin’s Kind of Patriotism - NYTimes.com: "I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”"

I hadn't heard the Holmes' quote. Good one. As I have said many times, I am tired of the right wing mantra that all taxes are evil and that our government is evil. Our government is "us" and our taxes (though all are not proposed nor spent wisely) are how we live with each other in something approaching a civilized community.


Tony said...

This is something I really cannot fathom. Taxes, evil? And it is unpatriotic to pay taxes, but patriotic to ship jobs overseas? Maybe someone can help me understand that line of thinking, because I sure don't.

Streak said...

You know I can't explain it. I understand not wanting high taxes and certainly not wanting government waste, but this is ridiculous, and incredibly irresponsible tactics. We are seeing the depth of the irresponsibility in this crisis.

leighton said...

It only makes sense to me as the brainchild of nominal libertarians who actually want totalitarianism on a scale as large as possible, but are pragmatic enough to realize they can't achieve absolute control of the whole country. So down with federal taxes and up with states' rights, and if they can't get a whole state to approve (say) segregation or religious tests for office, then up with counties' rights, or cities' rights, or however small they need to shrink the scale to be the sad little kings of their sad little hills. Let the world burn, as long as they have theirs.