Your State Sucks Because Your Government Is a Bunch of Morons:
Someday, some politician is gonna be brave enough to make the obvious argument: paying taxes is a patriotic thing to do. Yeah, he or she will be excoriated, called every variation on some tangential relation to Karl Marx that can be thought of (which is just adorable when they try to use big words they don't understand, like Maoism or Stalinism or Fidelism or whatever). But the mania behind the budget slashing is propelled by the insidious opposite argument: that government itself is unpatriotic and that to fund its actions is akin to funding the enemy. It redefines patriotism as not being about country but about individual. It doesn't make sense, does it? Well, fuck, it hasn't since Ronald Reagan started the "government is bad" bullshit. Mostly, it just means, "I'm a greedy rich fuck and I can convince the yahoos that they can be rich, too, and give me their money."
Because the argument is always that taxes are too high. And then, after that, that spending is too high. But, see, for Republicans especially, we never get to the point where taxes are fine and we're spending the right amount. We did on the federal level under Clinton, and then Bush came along and raped the economy like a passed-out fellow cheerleader with her skirt around her waist.
And for the states, facing a total deficit that's less than the amount of two years of our misguided wars or 10% of the military budget? Well, check out this example:
Kansas has a budget shortfall of $550-639 million for 2011. So the Kansas House just voted to cut spending on schools and to cut state workers' salaries, saving $50 million. And now the state is considering cutting corporate income taxes altogether, costing at least $50 million in the first year and up to $250 million a year when it's completely implemented. If you can find anything that approaches fairness there, you have an amazing ability to leap logic that'd make a frog on meth seem like a snail.
On and on and on it goes. Arizona has a $2.5 billion budget deficit. So Governor Brewer is proposing cutting Medicaid for 280,000 poor Arizonans. And then, at the same time, she wants to give businesses at least $400 million in tax breaks. It's fucking juvenile. It buys into a conservative lie that if you cut taxes a little for businesses, it'll bring in some jobs. But if you cut taxes a lot? Well, fuck, that has to bring in a shitload of jobs. Yeah, ask Ohio how that worked out. It's like saying that if a little heroin gets you high, then a whole bunch of heroin will get you really, really fucked up. Your theory fails when you're dead in a pool of your own vomit. A Republican, though, looks at that corpse and thinks, "Huh. That seems like fun."
In Wisconsin, shit is getting real. Over 12,000 people rallied against the governor's proposal to end collective bargaining for state workers. In Madison, the teachers had a sick-out in order to protest the stupidity of attempting to break their union.
In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton, who got elected by promising to raise taxes on the rich, is proposing to, well, shit, raise taxes on the rich as a way of bringing in money to fill his state's budget gap. What an odd thing to do: get money from people who can afford it instead of dicking over the poor or state employees.
A state is acting like grown-ups can deal with their problems? Oh, wait. The Republican legislature is already declaring Gov. Dayton's tax hike dead. Even when that brave man emerges, when that Will Kane stands there, all the townsfolk will just cower as usual.
(By the way, if you're thinking, "Well, if you like taxes so much, why don't you pay more?" And the Rude Pundit's answer is, "Go fuck yourself if you think that's any kind of response.")