Saturday, July 28, 2012

Should You Throw a Drowning Man a Bootstrap?

The Republicans have trotted out an old talking point that you don't hear them use much with their taxes so low, but they think that you peasants should pay all the taxes. So here goes, "Say I start a business and so does my friend. His business fails and I succeed. Why should I be penalized for my success by paying income taxes, while he pays none?" This almost sounds reasonable, and the knee jerk reaction is to try to justify taxes for all the good reasons we pay taxes. This is entirely wrong, that's what they want you to waste time on, while the basis of their argument continues to stand.

They are arguing from an entirely wrong premise (of course). To counter, begin by saying, "starting a business is in the public interest", they won't disagree, but they'll want to. Forcing them to agree with you will knock them back on their heels. Next say, "the reality is that both people who started businesses got massive tax breaks". They'll probably say 'nah ungh', you can elaborate about all the infrastructure business uses, and how they didn't have to pay for any of this before they started a new business. Keep at them, "Remember you didn't pay any taxes until you succeeded, you said so". 

The successful business has to pay the taxes because they won the competition of the marketplace. You can't expect the loser to buy breakfast for everybody, they lost. The rightie will probably try to pivot to, "if you tax business, they will just pass it onto the consumer". That's not really true, but don't bother to correct him. Tell him, "good, pass it on successful businessman. Then everybody pays the same, and isn't that what you were complaining about?"  You can expect much sputtering, they may even drown in their own drool. I wouldn't interfere, let them pull themselves up by their bootstraps.


Anonymous said...

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith.

In other words, you may win the argument, but it won't stop the truly selfish (almost to the point of sociopathology)from finding new and creative ways to justify their behavior.

prairie2 said...

Well of course, you can't convince the true believer. Especially the ones who think they will, by some magic, be one of the "ruling class" once the liberals, unions, brown people and democracy are gone. You can knock one back on his heels now and then. I've had them run away, literally. This exercise is really about convincing the normal people that these Reichwing talking points are just nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Now watching them running away would be something I would enjoy. Maybe all the way to the Libertarian Paradise known as Somalia. Nevertheless, I only hope that there is enough "normal" people left to convince.

Roman Law said...

I believe in every conservative lives a dictator or desire to be ruled by one.

That is why they can't accept that public infrastructure like good roads, and bridges are for the public good because they can't control who benefits.

You see they consider our infrastructure a right for them to use and that the rest of us should pay for the privilege of doing business with them.