Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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A Good Morning Bombast

Having glanced at Instapundit this morning I came across this Nick Gillespie rant against Obama, mass transit, and the implications of gifted Portugese water dogs. Better than caffeine.

Discussions - 11 Comments

Maybe Gillespie should read this before ranting about taxes too much. I suppose for him and the NLT crowd, though, any progressive taxation is too much . . . even if the wealthiest among us are being taxed a great deal less today than they were under Eisenhower . . .

On the other hand, taxes are much higher today than they were at any point in time between 1776 and World War I.

One further point. How does criticism of the degree of progressivity in the tax code suggest a general objection to progressive taxation? Moreover, what evidence is there that the people at NLT object to all progressive taxation? A few years ago, a study found that Americans don't think anyone should be taxed more than 25% of their income. I suspect that the opinions of the NLT bloggers are quite mainstream in that regard.

Mr. Adams - I'm not going to waste my time looking for evidence, and I'm sure you're probably right on that front. I was overgeneralizing and drawing off of the libertarian, flat-tax sentiments of many commentators. But I'm frustrated with the silliness of the Right's anger over today's progressive tax scale without ANY reference to how much less progressive it's become. A few months ago - if NLT was to be believed - socialism in America was a very real possibility with the election of Obama. I was just trying to point out that, as far as income tax is concerned, the Republican postwar administration of Eisenhower was much more into "redistributing" the wealth of Americans than Obama.

And comparing today's taxation policies to those of pre-World War I is, as I'm sure you're aware, like comparing apples to oranges. The development of American infrastructure is drastically different (even if we just look at our benevolent and untouchable military budget). I suppose, however, that someone who longs for a return to the "original" and foundational concepts upon which America was built would be less inclined to put much stock in such socio-cultural shifts . . .

But maybe I'm being unfair (of course I'm being unfair!).

Why spend so much time reading a blog without actually trying to understand how the writers understand things?

The Gillespie rant reminds me of those I heard at our local tea party the other night. He might almost have been there. Folks are upset. Men kept saying, "Excuse my French." only they weren't speaking French. They were all older, at least middle-aged; actual taxpayers, who probably wouldn't be so upset about their taxes if they were happier about the state of their government. Maybe, also, if the tax burden they carry were lightened by sharing with the whole population. They resent the massive redistribution of their modest wealth. They don't see why everyone does not contribute something. Nor why, as much as they pay, those who contribute nothing are resentful of them. It is not even as if they could believe that their increasing taxation was of benefit to the general economy. So their money is confiscated, to give to people for whom it is never enough, to pay for programs possibly, probably, harmful to the nation, programs that appall and anger those taxpayers.

The left-over war-time rates, (prior to Kennedy's sensible reduction, which caused the economy to boom) 91% on the top 1% of earners. Was it a good idea, Matt?

Was it a good idea, Matt?

First, Kate, let me say (and I'm reiterating what I said in some other thread) that the "tea parties" going on right now are a sad, depressing manifestation (or lack thereof) of political discontent and, in my opinion, sort of represents the sorry state of what once was an optimistic revolutionary spirit. Pouring Walmart tea into some water somewhere is a pretty sorry attempt to reconstruct the original . . . In other words - these "tea parties" were absolutely hilarious. It would be like me marching around with a plastic pitch fork and screaming for another Shay's Rebellion or (while?) wearing a Che T-shirt and a hat with a red star.

But all that aside - I'm not here to say that the taxation rate was right or it wasn't. I'm just saying it was a lot higher back in the day and the Right doesn't like to admit that (or, at least, I've never seen it talked about by them).

Why spend so much time reading a blog without actually trying to understand how the writers understand things?

You give me too much credit. I don't have the time to read much on here or to try to understand you "writers". Apologies all around. Should we ever meet, Adams, I'll have to buy you a beer or something. I'm sure you'll have lots of entertaining things to talk about. Maybe we could duel afterward or something.

Since Matt already mentioned plastic pitchforks... a good breakdown of the tea tantrums. (Does anyone know if Glenn Beck cried at the Alamo?)

As for the Gillespie rant, I had to stop at the Chappaquidick reference, for fear that my odds had just increased dramatically that an inane Vince Foster or cocaine-dealing-from-the-trunk reference was on its way as well.

It was a bit sad. Here were these folks who want nothing more than to be able to live at peace with their government, angry, not just for themselves, but on behalf of their children and grandchildren. They expressed shame over the state of the government and economy they are leaving to their descendants. You guys might be pleased to know that most of those people were furious at the Republican party for letting them down.

However, are you guys saying that conservatives have no right to disagree?

No. It's just funny (and, as you mentioned, a little sad). The Left suffers from the same inability to use revolutionary history for anything other than simulacranic joke-protests. You guys are just more visible (and pissed off) now than the Left.

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