August 31, 2012

What are taxes for?

Heard this fabulous story on the drive home (Time to Overhaul America's Aging Bridges?) which both infuriated me at our political mess, and reminded me of the amazing nature of NPR.  No shouting, no names, just a thoughtful and informed discussion on the issues.

But the subject got me thinking about our political impasse today.  As I have suggested many times, most conservatives conceptualize tax money as undeserving and lazy people getting free stuff.  As I have pointed out to people, the safety net (outside Medicaid) constitutes only 14% of our budget, and surely even conservatives don't believe that all or even a majority of those receiving aid are lazy.  Do they?

Back to bridges.  This subject more than most reminded me of our unbalanced discussion on taxes.  Imagine what an infusion of tax money would mean for the 8,000 bridges that need substantial repair.  It would, first and foremost, update our infrastructure to make it more reliable and less risky.  So, we would get something tangible even if we, personally, don't drive on that bridge.  It would put thousands of people to work.  Those people would then pay rent, buy groceries and purchase clothing and cars.  That would help the struggling retail market, car sales, and possibly even help with some of the mortgage situations.

That infusion of tax money would help thousands and ripple through our economy.  And of course, we would get new bridges that won't collapse into the river.


steves said...

With the exception of the Diane Rehm Show, I love NPR. I appreciate the fact that they go into some depth on the issues.

Unfortunately, some conservatives have no interest in credible news. While there are some good alternative news sources, there are some bad ones, such as World Net Daily, InfoWars, and Canada Free Press. Some one quoted an article from the last site that asked, "Will Obama Suspend the Election Results if he Loses?"

Do you really think that people that buy into this shit are getting realistic info on the budget? Hell no, they probably think that 60% of taxes goes to providing abortions for middle-schoolers and UN detention camps.

Streak said...

Heh. I like Diane. We got to meet her once here in OK, but yeah, the thoughtful, in-depth and civil approach is pretty nice.

Anyone who gets their news from WND deserves to be stupid.

steves said...

I disagree with her on a few important issues, but that isn't the problem. She sometimes has a tendency to have experts on the show that all share the same opinion and doesn't provide an opposing view. This is a contrast to most of the other shows on NPR that do a great job of finding intelligent people to debate.

Despite this, I would rather listen to her non-stop than read WND.

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