It’s still that time of year, as many American continue their recovery from the traumas associated with Tax Day. What makes recovery doubly infuriating is that each year some liberal pundit or other will subject us to a lecture about how grateful we should be for the opportunity to pay our taxes. This year we received a two-fer: both Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. and the Des Moines Register editorial board. With some variation, the lectures usually adhere to the following template:
1. Distort the position of conservatives.
According to the Register:
Victorious U.S. forces are turning their attention to creating a new government in Iraq.
Hey, wait a minute. Why bother?
What does Iraq need with a government? As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government is not the answer to your problem. Government is the problem.”
Government is evil. Iraq would be better off without one.
No, we’re in favor low taxes and limited government. Our argument isn’t with the existence of government; it’s with the size. Government currently does way too much and, as a result, the tax burden is too high.
2. Indulge in a pathetic reductio ad absurdum.
Again, the Register:
If tax cuts are good for the economy, it follows that having no taxes would be even better.
That’s like saying since losing weight is good, being anorexic is great. Just as individuals have an ideal weight, government can impose an ideal tax burden. Currently, though, government is bloated and needs to be put on a diet of tax cuts.
3. Give a condescending reminder of the importance of government.
According to Dionne:
At this time of year, I am tempted to pick out the two dozen loudest anti-tax propagandists and send them a copy of one of the most important volumes of the last decade. In “The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes,” published in 1999, law professors Stephen Holmes and Cass Sunstein do a brilliant demolition job on the idea that taxes are inimical to freedom.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?