In defense of liberalism and taxation

On a mailing list with some local and not so local acquaintances of mine, we’ve been discussing politics recently, and because I’m as left wing as Rachel Maddow and some of the others are as right wing as Sean Hannity, it gets a little heated. So much so that I’d stopped reading it recently more than just quick skimming when I have a little spare time. But when I saw the quote below from a small business owner who makes about the same as the boss of Joe the Plumber, I was compelled to comment in a bit more depth.

"Even if I pay $1 more in taxes because of Obama, I can’t expect that the government will use it better than I can."

Really, sir? You can, and do, build roads and bridges, build schools, pay teachers and defend the security of the nation all our of your own pocket? Seems like a bit of a stretch on the meager profits your self-owned business provides you after all your expenses.

The fact is taxation is the dues we pay to live in America. Without them, we’d be no better off than folks in Somalia or Afghanistan. We live in a society where even the worst off is still doing better than most of the people in those countries, and that’s the direct result of liberal government policies that lift us ALL up rather than forcing everyone to fend for himself. You know why we working stiffs have weekends at all, rather than working seven days a week? Because of Unions. You know why the water that comes out of your tap is safe to drink? Because the government mandates that this be so.

If you’re really so sure you’d be better off keeping everything for yourself, I invite you to leave this land of plenty and set up shop in Afghanistan with your wife and kid. You’ll be able to keep everything that you make, and you won’t have to worry about liberals unfairly interfering in your livelihood. You won’t have safety, security, or possibly even electricity, either, but those should be a problem for a self-starter like you, should they?

Or you could cut the BS and admit that you benefit from living in this nation, that you’ve only achieved what you have because other people sacrificed to create the opportunity for you. That you’d be nothing without the infrastructure of the nation in which you live. The core of patriotism is caring about the other people who share society with you, and other people have been patriotic enough to provide an environment that allows you the opportunity to excel. Show some appreciation and quit being such an inconsiderate greedy douche bag for once in your pathetic life, willya?

I doubt you’ll take my advice. I expect you’ll continue to benefit from the advantages of being an American while shaking your tiny fist at the injustice of it all. Poor man, indeed.