Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I read an article on Daily Kos

Basically saying that the teabag protesters should give up the things their taxes buy. And here's the flaw in that argument: I'm guessing that many, if not most, of the teabag protesters come from rural and suburban locations. Which, if true, means that they don't get or pay extra for some of the services that urban folks take for granted.

They probably have a volunteer fire service, many dirt roads, and either haul their own trash to the dump or pay a trash service. They may have to go to the local post office to pick up their mail. Many probably home-school. And in any case, all of the services (except for the Post Office and Armed Services) listed in the article are provided for through state and local taxes, not federal.

Here's the thing: the only direct contact many folks have with the federal government is through the annual tooth-grinding extravaganza that is filling out their tax return, or waiting in line at the post office to buy stamps and send packages at Christmas. These are not contacts designed to get the people to be happy about the government.

Ideas for making people feel more connected to what their (federal) taxes purchase? Aside from uniforms for our nation's sons and daughters?

1 comment:

ms said...

mm has figured out an important part of the far-right's national strategy to make Americans hate their government: make them believe they don't get anything from it. Kos missed that in the very important context of "heartland" America, where lots of the things we expect in return for our state and local taxes in our suburban and urban areas are do-it-yourself projects in our rural and agricultural regions.

What is ultimately ironic, though, is that most of the taxes we all pay (and more so in rural areas than elsewhere) fund our armed forces. I am a staunch, lifetime, believer in the need for a strong national defense force, though I did not agree that we should send our sons and daughters to Iraq. One can only wonder how those folks in places that consistently vote Republican (I'm thinking of the entire state of Nebraska, for example), and who might be ready to wave a tea-bag and say, "Yeah, I'll put out my own house fires and keep on hauling my own garbage," would feel about being asked to give up what most of their tax money buys: The Army, The Navy, The Air Force, and The Marines.

My hope would be that at least some of them would put down those tea-bags and start waving flags instead.