Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why on earth am I attempting to write about taxes?

Good question.

My best guess is that when the Bible's logic, through Tim's logic, made unicorns exist... it also made this seem like a good idea.

Throughout the years there have been a few philosophical stances that have allowed the Republican and Democratic parties to define themselves and their differences from one another. The most consistent of these has been taxes, which both sides seem to cling to so stubbornly that one begins to wonder how greatly it might come at the expense of the nation and its many diverse states and providences. After all, one must tax the people to provide them with the services that are the purpose of government. Tax too much and it really can hurt both citizen and commerce. Few people like to pay taxes; they do want good schools, a fire truck that will show up when it is needed, and hospitals that will keep them alive though. A reliable nursing service to help with the care of dependent elderly family members is also nice. In short, if you want things, you got to pay for them.

On the other hand, what if you are paying more than enough to cover all those and many other essential needs? What if the problem is simply that the money is not being used properly, with the optimum efficiency? Thus the idea of reform usually springs up. Everyone is familiar with fire and brimstone radiovangelist sermons about pork barrel spending. (Anyone smell a tonal bias? Yeah, watch out for that.) Sometimes when a knife is drawn to remove fat, it removes good meat along with it. Sometimes it carves all the way to the bone. Perhaps the butcher’s sloppy. Perhaps quality is not his aim. Maybe it’s not even their fault. If you see the heads of a service branch all sitting in big cushy chairs from having more funding than they need, giving them a budget cut does not mean that they are going to make the adjustment by trading their cushy chairs in. That’s the problem with reform: it’s easier to effectively reward than to punish.

It’s not always the case though. There are times when a middle man can be cut without disrupting quality in the name of some tunnel vision efficiency. Reform isn’t a bad idea, it just needs to be used realistically.

In general I favor what could be called the Democratic model, or more precisely, to increase taxes when and where necessary while offering numerous breaks as quality incentives, but I’m offering no solutions. Nothing spurs my distrust more in this area than a cure-all solution. The ideas that we must always raise or always lower taxes to aid the economy and well being of the people are simply inorganic. Imposing them on a city, county, state or nation without regard for the actual situation within that governed body will always prove problematic.

I’d sincerely like to think this will be first and last time I discuss taxes on this blog for a long while, if ever. With the increased accessibility to state bills being introduced, thanks to Richmond Sunlight, I think I’ve finally found that niche in local politics for now and felt that in a round about way this entry would help set the tone for some of the entries I hope will soon fallow. Taxes are a far cry from my area of expertise, and I hold no illusions as to otherwise. In fact, this began as an intro entry on a bill unrelated to taxes, until I realized how overbearing it was becoming. I really do tend to go on and on a bit with these. I'm working on that.

So, consider this a small olive branch to any readers on the right and a fond reminder to readers on the left of how obnoxiously wishy-washy I can be. :)


Anonymous little grumpy goth-girl said...

isn't it fun not marching in lock-step with anyone?;)

1:42 PM  

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