Will Conservatives never learn? I suppose that’s like asking, “Does the Pope shit in the woods?”, which, given the Holy See Hippie we have now, I wouldn’t put it past him to go on a few “Nature walks” now and then. But when it comes to tax policy, the answer is Yes, they never learn. Case in point: Kansas, a/k/a “KS”, a/k/a “Koch State” (H/T Jane), a/k/a “Land of Tornadoes, Cute Little Flying Monkeys, and Blood Thirsty Munchkins.” Yes, that Kansas. Way back in 2012, the brilliant minds of the Conservative Republican-controlled State Legislature decided to heed the demands of David Koch and cut taxes drastically. (Don’t waste my time and yours by asking me to prove they did this at the behest of the Koch Brothers. If you honestly think the Kochs had no influence on the tax policy of the state in which Koch Industries is headquartered, you’re too naive to be reading political blogs and should go back to bed, curled up in a fetal position, rocking back and forth while sucking your thumb. Or just read 1980 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee David Koch’s official platform.) But now, three years later, the job growth never happened, and KS finds itself with a $400 million budget shortfall. They realize they’ve cut as many public services as they can get away with cutting (I’m sure they’ve gone too far, but that’s an argument for another day), and now they have to consider doing something anathema to them: raising taxes. They justified their tax cuts to the public by claiming that tax cuts would spur economic growth, and businesses would come rushing to the state to take advantage of the low taxes and bring jobs to KS. They always say that. And it’s never true. Not once.
“We hoped they would just be a magic lantern and everybody would react to it,” [Senator Les Donovan] said. “But, eh, it’s hard to get a company to uproot their business when they’re established and move to another place just because of this difference in tax policy.”
That’s the problem with Conservative philosophy. It tends to be rooted in what people want to believe is true, and not on what actually is true. They believe greed is good, that it’s okay not just to want more for yourself than what your neighbor has, but to want more than you could ever possibly need in your lifetime. But Greed is not good, Conservative People. Selfishness in not a Virtue. We are all Human Beings on this planet, and none of us is any more special than any other. That includes you. We survive because we know that we need each other to do so. Nobody in this country “made it” alone. You may have created a business from scratch, and it may have grown into a nice income producer for you and your family. But your success is not entirely of your own doing.
Your business likely sells one of two things, goods or services. Either way, you want to get something in exchange for those goods or services, and if you don’t want to work on the barter system, then you need something to exchange on which you both agree on the value. Money. And to make sure that the money you’re using is legitimate, you agree to only accept money made by the Government (the ones who decide what its value is, under the Constitution.) Now, right there you’ve proven that taxes are necessary. Someone has to pay for the things the Government does on your behalf. One of the things the government does is build and maintain the roads you use to bring your goods to your customers or yourselves to perform services. Someone has to protect those roads from highway bandits, so we hire police, who also make sure our other laws are enforced. I could go on with more examples, but the point is that everybody benefits from the things we all pay taxes to have done. And that includes that little business you created. Your business benefits from the things our government does, so why shouldn’t your business pay taxes? Your business is not a person like you, it’s an artificial entity created on paper to act as if it were a person in legal proceedings, which includes the sale of goods and services to your customers. They aren’t paying you for your goods and services, they’re paying your business. There is no such thing in Nature as a business or corporation, so they can’t possibly have “natural rights.” They can only have what rights the government that sanctioned their creation gave them. And if any Conservative tries to argue that our Founders wanted Corporations to be able to act free of the interference of Government, they are flat out lying to you. They barely tolerated their existence, being all too familiar with what was done to them in the name of Corporations. such as the East India Company. So, no, they would never go along with the idea that corporations shouldn’t be taxed and shouldn’t be regulated.
So the Conservative Republicans (you might think that redundant if only because there are no more Liberal Republicans, but I think it’s important to differentiate between the party and its ideology; there are Conservatives in the Democratic Party, and they’re every bit as dangerous as Conservative Republicans) have had it their way and tried to grow their economy through austerity and found, much to no one’s surprise who knew what they were talking about, that it didn’t work. That’s because Conservatives have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to taxes, in this case, or anything, in all the other cases. And that’s because their entire philosophy is rooted in the false notion that we’re all alike, and we would all behave the same way (their way) in any situation, and that looking out for yourself is more important than looking out for your fellow human being because nobody needs anybody else to survive. So why on Earth would you want to put any of them in charge of the government that’s supposed to be looking out for you? Someone, please explain that to me.
This is our daily open thread. Have at it.