Thursday, July 28, 2005

Norquist Watch

The current New Yorker has a a profile of Barf Bag that's useful reading even if it downplays his sheer weirdness, which includes his strange and sudden marriage. Although the article isn't online, author John Cassidy discusses it here.

For some dumbass reason, NPR is now giving Barf Bag a regular forum. Kind of as if the Weimar government in Germany had had a regular "Goebbels Hour" on the radio; appearing fair while slitting your own throat. As usual, Grover makes the same dumb arguments against the estate tax:

Today, we Americans pay taxes when we earn our paychecks, when we save, when we invest, when we buy products and services, and then, when we are foolish enough to die, the government wants half of what is left.

This means the same dollar of income is taxed three to four times BEFORE the tax collector asks many small businesses and family farms to liquidate more than half of their saved assets for estate taxes.

On April 15, by an overwhelming vote of 272-162, the House of Representatives passed legislation to end this immoral tax. More than 40 Democrats joined with Republicans to make repeal the onerous death tax permanent.
...
Playing to the politics of hate and class division, some will point out that a minority of Americans that pay this tax. What these critics miss is that Americans of all means believe the government should not tax the same dollar of income twice and in this case three or four times.

First of all, it's amazing that anyone would call a tax on a dead person "onerous." Remember, this is money going to people who did not earn it. Think of Paris Hilton battening off the ill-gotten gain of Grampa Conrad, who extracted it from millions of poor workers in his stinking hotels.

Stupider is his argument about money being taxed and retaxed. So what? Every dollar is taxed over and over as it flows through the economy. You pay a tax when your employer gives you the dollar. He's previously been taxed on it too. When you give that dollar to a business to purchase a product or service, you pay a sales tax and the owner of the business pays a tax too. He sends that dollar to one of his creditors, who pays taxes on it, or uses it to pay an employee, who pays taxes on it. And so on and so on. What's one more time? And while Norquist invites us to cry over farms and businesses liguidated, this hardly ever happens. I don't believe that a single good example of a family farm being broken up because of taxes has yet been found. Inherited family farms are usually broken up so the survivors can make a killing selling the land for development.

I keep wondering how Grover would like living in a tax cut paradise where the garbage is not collected, the streets are not kept in repair, infrastructure is not just crumbling but broken, public health is neglected, and most of the workforce is kept unemployed by the illegal immigrants he so dearly loves. Does he think the Army would protect the rich? Why should they? After all, which side of the fence are they recruited on?

"Winner take all" is not a recipe for stable government. Indulging morons like Grover Norquist guarantees we're going to learn that the hard way.

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