This is something that I’ve had rolling around in my head for awhile, and obviously if I’m writing on the topic, I think the answer is yes, at least to some extent. To be clear, I don’t think your typical conservative citizen wants their government to fail. I think the majority of citizens at both end of the spectrum mostly want a successful government in place. I’m specifically talking about the conservatives that are running things for their party. There are two statements I’ll kick things off with here. The first comes from popular conservative strategist and lobbyist, Grover Norquist.
“I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
This comes from a man that is behind a lot of government initiatives, runs a super PAC influencing government, and helps conservatives get elected all over the country.
The second is from someone I think will be a pretty common source as I move forward because he’s the epitome of a ruthless, conservative ideologue for whom the ends always justify the means. Shortly after the republicans took control of Congress in the midterms, Mitch McConnell said this:
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Phew, it took me longer than anticipated to finish this one. I was shooting to have it out on Wednesday, which was the day the Republicans in Congress passed their final tax bill. Both houses were supposed to be in recess by this past Sunday, but they stuck around to get this passed in a vote that shot straight down party lines, which interestingly enough, Senator McConnell doesn’t think should happen when it comes to such important legislation:
The chaos [the Affordable Care Act] has visited on our country isn’t just deeply tragic, it was entirely predictable. And that will always be the case if you approach legislation without regard for the views of the other side. Without some meaningful buy-in, you guarantee a food fight. You guarantee instability and strife. It may very well have been the case that on Obamacare, the will of the country was not to pass the bill at all. That’s what I would have concluded if Republicans couldn’t get a single Democrat vote for legislation of this magnitude. I’d have thought, maybe this isn’t such a great idea.
Ahh, isn’t it great that we live in a time where it’s possible to so easily expect people to meet standards they set for themselves? Anyway, with the tax bill in mind, I had been planning to do a breakdown of taxation, so I thought now was a good time to get it out of my head and post it. I wanted to address what I want in a tax system as a progressive, why I oppose the Republican’s bill, and why I believe I should pay more taxes than those less fortunate than I am and why I have an expectation that people more fortunate than I should pay more, regardless of how they come across their money.
As I dug in, my word count quickly grew, and I ended up splitting this into two posts because I think this is my longest post yet, even after splitting it. This one goes into the first part. It covers my philosophy around taxation. What is the purpose of taxation and why do we need to pay taxes even if some of them go to things we don’t personally like or believe they should? The other one targets the Republican tax bill specifically, and why I don’t support it based on how it was passed and what it ultimately does. The second part isn’t quite finished yet, but I’ll link to it here when it’s up. You can find that post here.