Old And New


All the arguments that have been made against the Democrats, and all of the arguments made against the Republicans, and all the arguments made against taxes, and against immigration are nothing new.  There really is nothing new under the sun, especially not in politics.

Listen to some old political speeches by several notable historical figures from approximately 100 years ago, From Taft and Wilson to Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan, and it is remarkable how much today’s politics resemble yesterday’s.  Today’s tea party is yesterday’s bull moose party(kinda.)  The talk of industrial and business regulation is much the same now as it was back then.  The Republicans were the same pro-business men they are today, and the same arguments were leveled against them.

It was interesting to hear the criticism leveled at the Republicans, from over a full century ago. You could have pulled the thoughts straight from today’s headlines, as if they were still with us today.  Hearing Woodrow Wilson talk about the Republican’s and the Bull Moose party in about the same terms as most liberals use against the republicans of today was something of a revelation. This despite the fact that Teddy Roosevelt, head of the Bull Moose, believed in government, and wanted to use government to protect farmers and the little guy from the trusts.

Teddy would have been found to be far to the left of the average republican of today, simply with his belief in government.

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The system, though it may not be perfect in every part, is, upon the whole, a good one; is the best that the present views and circumstances of the country will permit; and is such an one as promises every species of security which a reasonable people can desire.

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, no.85

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A novel thought.  For years we have cut taxes, and cut taxes, and cut taxes.  For years our way of life has suffered, been gradually eroded.  We make less now in real dollars than we did 10, 20, 30 years ago.  The rich have more of the money in this nation now than they ever have, and the people who do the work, have less of it.  The middle class seems to be disappearing, and the American way of life, the American dream is suffocating, choking on the ashes of the $100 bills the rich use to light their cigars.

Could it be that by raising taxes that we could reverse this trend?  That increased taxation, not just of the rich but of everyone would make all lives better?  That adding taxes that would pay for improvement of the quality of life and would lower the out-of-pocket costs of a great many things we associate with quality of life, thus making those issues less of an issue for everyone?

Until now,  I’ve thought of taxes as a necessary evil that pays for all aspects of government, and nothing more. But that thought was as much driven, by the way the debate about taxes is framed.  It isn’t about the morality and the good done with the money raised to help the working man make his lot in life better.  It’s always about what  government costs, and why is it necessary, which, in light of the thought I’ve put forward, sounds very much like a false paradigm, meant to distract from the real reason taxes exist, rather than illuminate the reason they exist, so the force for good they can be in society can be ignored, and the wealthy, who would, by dint of having the most money, not have to pay extra.

The power to tax is not just a power to destroy, but also a power to create, and create goodness for those who want, and have not received, an even break. Can it be abused? Of course it can be, just like anything else, but that doesn’t mean any small amount of it, or increase of it, is instantly evil, and to be as reviled as terrorism and murder, because it is not as dangerous or deadly as either of those.

I’ll elaborate more on this at a later date, I’m still exploring this thought.  It is a new one for this American, political hack though I am.  I’ve just never really thought about taxes like that, as being a positive force, a purely positive force for social change.

Just thinking out loud.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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