Taxes are patriotic?

…according to Daily columnist David Goldbrenner. Goldbrenner’s basic argument is that conservatives are ridiculous for protesting taxes since taxes are necessary for maintaining our civilization and standard of living. Further, he argues (speciously), the economy grew more under Clinton than under Bush. But the minimal growth under Bush was more due to the 9/11 recession and the dot-com bust—both of which occured early in his administration and were beyond his control. It’s arguable that Bush’s tax cuts reduced the impact of these recessions. Goldbrenner also points out that the debt grew by $5 trillion under Bush (actually $4 trillion, but Goldbrenner doesn’t really seem to be concerned about facts). But if he ever stopped to listen to conservatives, he’d find out that most conservatives are appalled by the Bush administration’s huge increase in spending. He confuses Bush Republicans with conservatives.

He concludes with this spurious analogy:

In short, wanting to enjoy the benefits of American society without paying taxes is like wanting to enjoy privileges at a country club without paying dues. In the old days, people with that penchant were called freeloaders. Today, they’re called conservatives.

But this is a better analogy: Some people pay $1000 for country club membership while enjoying disproportionately fewer of the amenities than those who don’t pay anything  (e.g. those on Medicaid, welfare). It’s the poor who want to enjoy the benefits of American society without paying taxes. About one-third of Americans don’t pay any income tax (Obama wants to make that 50 percent) and are still enjoying the amenities of our society. That’s freeloading. And liberals are promoting it!

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