Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxing



"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society," Oliver Wendell Holmes famously noted, but I guess some people didn't get the message on this cold and rainy April 15. Al Giordano has a detailed dissection of the fabulisms and phobias of today's "Tea-bagging" parties (and quotes this fabulous James Wolcott post, an example of how rewarding Wolcott can be when he uses his snark for good). From the opposite end of the political spectrum, Andrew Sullivan challenges the seriousness of the TB's, arguing that

...the substantive critique must remain the primary one. Protesting government spending is meaningless unless you say what you'd cut.

If you favor no bailouts, then say so. If you want to see the banking system collapse, then say so. If you think the recession demands no fiscal stimulus, then say so. If you favor big cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, social security and defense, then say so. I keep waiting for [Glenn] Reynolds to tell us what these protests are for; and he can only spin what they they are against.

All protests against spending that do not tell us how to reduce it are fatuous pieces of theater, not constructive acts of politics. And until the right is able to make a constructive and specific argument about how they intend to reduce spending and debt and borrowing, they deserve to be dismissed as performance artists in a desperate search for coherence in an age that has left them bewilderingly behind.


Crooks and Liars has been gathering reports of how the parties are going (and how hard it was for them to get their party started). Field Negro, meanwhile, documents just how far some politicians are willing to go to live that crazy Glenn Beck dream.

Finally, isn't it funny when those who claim to hate Washington fight so hard to stay there?

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