Saturday, January 27, 2007

GOTV and Taxes

So I trekked down to SuperLawyer's domain and helped out with the Get Out The Vote process. Due to my military background, I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to the actual nuts and bolts of campaigning. And while it looked like fun on the West Wing, the real work at the local level is well . . . . real work. The campaign manager had broken up the district into little blocks or sections of neighborhoods. Our job was to go to the homes of the registered democrats, or indepents and republicans who said they would vote for SL, and remind them of the special election on Tuesday. Thankfully the weather was pretty decent and I quickly shucked my coat and just walked around in my sweater. Now, walk isn't exactly the right word. This is classic suburbia land. Beautiful homes, cute little cul-de-sacs, kids playing hoops in the street. But no sidewalks! And since I wasn't hitting every home, I would end up driving a bit, walking a bit, driving a bit, walking a bit, driving a bit. Anyways, it was fun-ish. I helped out SL, and I got to experience what campaigning is like at the local level. So that's good.

My only bad experience was when I knocked on a door of a presumed supporter who quickly sized me up, saw my sticker for SL, and said, "I don't vote Democrat. I don't vote for people who raise my taxes or take my guns." I said thanks anyways, and walked away. No use trying to have a political discussion with this man. But it got me thinking . . . . .

How stupid is it to completely rule out raising taxes? Now, give me a second. I don't like taxes. And I pay a pretty penny in taxes, so I'm definitely not looking to give up more of my money. But I think ruling out raising taxes is just wrong. Let's say I make a certain amount of money every year, but I decide I want a new car. I can't afford the car with my current budget. So I've got two options. I can stop paying for something I'm doing now. Maybe I'll stop eating lunch out and bring my lunch to work. Or maybe I'll stop going to the movies. Basically the first option is to cut my expenditures. The second option is to make more money. Maybe that means asking for a raise, or getting a second job. If I really want to buy that new car, I need to decide. Cut expenditures, or increase my revenue. It's really simple economics. But the republicans can't seem to grasp that logic. It's all cuting taxes (decreasing revenue) and pork barrell projects (increasing expenditures). Which is great at a national level where China is more than willing to finance our debt, but that doesn't work at the local level. It's not like Reston is going to finance Herndon's debt.

Just like the Great Decider says that he won't take any options off the table, why have we allowed the Republicans to take raising taxes off the table? How have we allowed them to create some parallel universe where the law of economics doesn't apply and any tax is some sort of direct assualt on the American way of life?

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At 9:56 AM, Blogger C lbs said...

We both have been in places outside of the US and have seen how the governments work there. Other than healthcare, for which the US does not have a system, I think the US government does a great job with the taxes we give it. If the choice were given to people to live in another country which might have lower taxes versus an increase in their taxes in the US, I think they would all choose the US. Then again, the countries with lower taxes have a much lower standard of living than we do.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

I think that c lbs misses the point. The point is that the U.S. government appears to do a pretty good job with the taxes we give, when we compare infrastructure and other National-level responsiblities it has. But the point is, the good job way exceeds what we give in taxes. It's put on a credit card. We can all appear to be doing everything right, and have the best of everything, if we don't balance the checkbook at the end of the day. And our government doesn't do that. Instead of the dirty little task of raising revenues to pay for things, they get charged. And as we know, those charges incur significant interest, markedly raising the costs of everything in the long run. As Trey points out, China is paying for our improved bridges, but one day, we (or subsequent generations) will pay China back, with interest, while trying to continue to fix bridges. How moral is it to borrow when you know when the tab comes, it's someone else's problem? That's what's wrong with the equation.


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