The Poor Be Damned!

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

It hit me that the complaint from Conservatives about taxes is partly a complaint by them that their tax dollars are paying for the poor to live off their hard-earned money.

Duh. For the longest time, I was thinking that the resistance against paying higher taxes was just because they want to hold onto more of their money, as do we all.

But a columnist, Brion McClanahan, wrote in The Daily Caller an article which expressed his, and, I would suppose many others’,  resentment that people on government assistance are living high on the hog off the backs of “hard working tax payers.”

Food stamps, complained McClanahan, are abused; “people use their food stamps for necessary items, then use their money for their smokes, beer and munchies.” (http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/28/damn-i-just-want-some-jam/?print=1) He writes:

These are fine examples of what many Americans witness on a regular basis. The other day, while my family and I were waiting in a check-out line at Wal-Mart, I noticed that the woman checking out in front of us was texting on her $200 cell phone (which probably costs at least $100 a month in service fees and may have been paid for by the government as well) and holding what my wife says was a $100 designer purse, with a stack of junk food, beer and cigarettes on the belt behind a line of subsistence products like milk, cheese, cereal and meat.

People pay for “necessary” items with their EBT government debit cards and then use cash for their smokes, beer and munchies. Yet, I have to fork over my hard-earned dollars for every item in my cart (and in essence theirs as well, since I pay taxes while they probably get “refunds” every April). Something is wrong here. Why is the average taxpayer both screwed by the system and forced to watch his tax dollars being wasted on people who abuse the system?

He goes on to suggest that people on government assistance ought to lose their right to vote, ought to be limited to shopping in government-run stores that have less than quality merchandise, and not be allowed to shop in major food stores or drug chains. Everything they would have access to would be blatantly tagged as being provided by the “government.”  People on government assistance are “slaves” to the government, and ought to be treated as such.
After I caught my breath, it hit me that what this man wrote is probably the foundation of the cry against new taxes. The belief by many is that only the poor abuse the system and siphon tax dollars away from “honest tax payers.” There is not this kind of resentment for the rich who also take advantage of the system, at the expense, again, of “hard-working Americans.” The double standard is amazing. The difference between what those rich or poor intent of taking advantage of the system is that what the poor do seems to be more readily visible to ordinary Americans, while the abuse of the system done by the rich is more sophisticated and is blanketed by their ability to use their wealth and status to their advantage.
I wonder if Brion McClanahan is aware of the peonage system used by people in this country for years after the Civil War, where African-Americans, and some others from other races who were poor enough, were blatantly exploited by the rich and the wanna-be-rich, who wanted to make money and did so off the backs and labor of people they barely paid. It’s recorded; McClanahan should read Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon. It’s all there, what was done in this country. Should those people who so exploited others  have been vilified? Should they have lost their voting rights?
Ah, no…because they were not “slaves of the government.” They made slaves of others with the consent of the government. Now I get it. Now, I finally get it.
Thanks to McClanahan’s article, I will never hear the complaint against higher taxes the same again. The complaint is rooted in resentment that we in America don’t want to be our brothers’ keepers.’  Higher taxes, for many, merely means that we are paying into a social system that creates “lazy” Americans, and dag nammit, we don’t like that!  We would rather they pull themselves up by their bootstraps, even if our government has taken their boots from them.
Now, I get it.
And it makes me sick.
A candid observation….
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Comments

  1. KEN FERIA says:

    You guys are still lucky in America….while here in the Philippines, we pay taxes so that our Congressmen can build mansions, buy luxury cars and sportscars, travel in first class with their families, gamble in casinos abroad, maintain mistresses and enjoy eating out in the most expensive restaurants here and abroad…..They should hang a sign board at the main entrance of Congress that says…IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES because they have real fun spending taxpayers money!

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