The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Rhetorical Question Day at The Corner

Posted on | April 26, 2011 | 1 Comment

by Smitty

Steven Hayward and Jonah Golberg have questions, and I have answers.

Hayward quotes Kinsley, emphasis mine:

If the deficit doesn’t matter, why have any taxes at all? And if there is some point at which the deficit does start to matter, and become dangerous, when is that point if $1.6 trillion isn’t it?

Three reasons, for starters:

  1. Behavior shaping. Individuals may or may not have freewill, but the population as a whole gets mighty sheepish. For example, Washington can bait a lot of people into electric cars, then turn around and tax them. Brilliant!
  2. Class warfare. The assumption of eminent domain over every American wallet is a fantastic divide-and-conquer tool. The poor get a kickback every spring from the Treasury, the rich can be conveniently demonized for not paying that ‘fair share’, and the middle class feels nutty there in the nutcracker.
  3. ‘Job’ growth through complexity. The less intelligible the tax code, the more staff required at all levels to manage it, and the more secondary opportunity there is. Before Gutenberg, literacy was a full-time job. The tax wonk is the modern scribe. Who says Progressives are not conservative, after their sick fashion. If the IRS added to the economy, instead of taking, it would be such a Good Thing.

Goldberg is right behind Hayward, again, my emphasis:

Why have a debt limit at all? I mean, if it should automatically be raised the second you reach it without precondition, isn’t it a purely arbitrary and fictional barrier? I tried to make this point last night on Special Report, and it came out a bit clumsy, in part because I used the mathematically rigorous term “kuh-trillion.”

Jonah is playing coy about this. He knows that we need to have political theater. Theater is a bi-partisan device whereby the Ruling Class Overlords generate a vast hue and cry and demand we move in a sane direction, then go the opposite way.
The federal government has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted and is incapable of internal reform. You don’t have a choice, Tea Parties: you’ve got to continue to pressure incumbents, vote them out, demand change, and take the required haircut like an adult.

Fiscal boot camp ain't no frickin' beauty contest, mister.

If you’re still too peppy after all that, then step over to Piece of Work in Progress for a hit of financial gloom from Meep. Truly, our government is a sucking wallet wound.
Now, it would be an ill thing to go with such an entirely down post, so let me finish on a Rule 5 note, with Stacy’s patron Twitter saint:

Now, don't you feel better already?


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