05 Mar 2009 18:10 Filed in: Foundational Posts
In comments from readers of this blog, the Tired Donkey has noticed that a recurring theme is a discussion of class warfare. Certain Stockholm Donkeys of his acquaintance have accused the Tired Donkey of waging class warfare, while some Steadfast Donkeys have corresponded with him complaining that the Obama Administration is waging class warfare against them. It would seem that class warfare is in the air, and the Tired Donkey enjoys few things more than he does clearing the air.
The question of who is waging war against whom is an interesting one, but it is not the Tired Donkey’s purpose to engage with this question. Rather, the Tired Donkey is attempting to make a simple point: the current tax policy of the United States allows nearly half of the potential taxpayers who live in this great land to pay no income tax at all, and this is improper, unjust and—the Tired Donkey submits—immoral. This issue is not being addressed at all in the debate about how much more of the overall tax burden the wealthiest donkeys ought to shoulder; that is an important debate, but the Tired Donkey believe that an even more important debate is whether or not it is appropriate for Freeloaders to be allowed a voice in these questions. If you do not contribute funds to running the country, what right do you have to interfere in the affairs of the donkeys who do contribute these funds? The Tired Donkey has an answer to this question: none. Another, more inflammatory way to put this—a way the Tired Donkey favors—is this: no representation without taxation. You may call that class warfare if you wish; the Tired Donkey calls it common sense.
A good example of the absence of this important question from the current debate was provided yesterday by Stockholm Donkey Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. In his piece on class warfare, he blathers on at length about top tax brackets and income redistribution (which he heartily endorses) and hedge-fund managers and other things that Stockholm Donkeys like to talk about. He even trots out an Addled Donkey from Manhattan Beach, a retired computed executive, who says that “all the tax rebates to the rich never made sense” to him and goes on to “fully endorse the idea that it’s about time the middle class got a crack at” tax rebates for themselves.
In case you were so stunned by the ignorance displayed by the poor Addled Donkey that you missed the point, the Tired Donkey will make it clear for you: Stockholm Donkey Hiltzik used this run-down creature to hide the real question from his no-doubt equally muttonheaded readers: how can someone who pays no taxes get a tax "rebate?" Once again, the Tired Donkey has an answer to this question: he can't.