Notice all the things that are paid for, or are possible because of tax dollars and government subsidies? They were thoughtfully pointed out in the picture. Even more, there’s some other things that should be noticed. The sign saying “cut taxes, not defense,” for one. Just how does that woman think we pay for defense? It magically happens? Money appears out of nowhere? Defense is around (depending on which figure you choose) 20% to 33% of our federal budget. How about the elderly woman holding the “zero taxes” sign? What are the odds that she’s receiving Medicare? How does she think it’s paid for? I should say, does she know how it’s actually paid for, not how she thinks it’s paid for. If her wish were granted, and there were “zero taxes,” her health care would have to be paid out-of-pocket. Which might be difficult, since her income would be severely cut by the loss of her Social Security.
It’s really amazing at the complete disconnection between government services and taxes that these protesters demonstrate. When they complain about “entitlement spending” they really mean “people who aren’t me.” In my other post, I mentioned the defense they use – “I paid taxes for this when I was working.” That the taxes they paid then are not what’s paying for their benefits now is something they don’t understand. They’re entitled to their benefits.
That defense is used a lot, to wave away charges of hypocrisy when it comes to many “conservatives.” It’s astonishing the number of “tax protesters” or “small government” advocates who are heavily using government subsidies or depend on government services. Run a large farm and get agricultural subsidies from the government? It’s OK, they “pay taxes.” Not as much as they get in subsidies, and that without them their farm wouldn’t be economically viable, but that’s different. They want a host of things that the government provides – but they don’t want to pay for them.
It is hypocritical. No one forced them to go on Medicare. No one forced them to accept Social Security payments. No one forces them to take government subsidies for any number of things. If you want to cut taxes, then you also have to accept that cuts are coming to things you want – and that includes defense, and services you depend on. That’s what irritates me about the current Right – they’re complaining about the mote in other people’s eyes and ignoring the logs in their own.