Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whose money is it?

In response to a torrent of attacks on anyone opposing the tax cuts on the top 2% as thieves and haters:

I'm not sure if we're talking here about politics, economics or some strange new pagan religion that worships the gods of money, power and the free market.

We have a state government that was founded in Concord in October 1774 during the Massachusetts Revolution, and a national government that was set up in Philadelphia the following year, because people were very clear that with the British-appointed colonial governments removed we needed to set our own up, right quick.

One of the first priorities was setting up a system to collect taxes to support - among other things - public infrastructure, a court system and defense against the expected British invasion to retake their lost colonies. No one objected to the setting and collecting of taxes. They weren't making a revolution to end taxation - it was always about the question "whose government is it", who does it serve and protect, who decides who pays, how it gets collected and how it gets spent. The struggle over what is a fair way to decide who will contribute how much in taxes was there from the beginning, and is not likely to go away.

Admittedly things are out of control now, but the problem is not that we have a government or that there are taxes. The problem is that we've lost control of that government, of the decisions about who pays for it and how that money gets spent. And that the ones with the most money are able to buy the influence and the media noise to get out of paying what most of us would consider their fair share.

The problem isn't "whose money is it," The problem is still "whose government is it?"
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