Taxing

Posting has been light lately, I know. I’ve been busy at work, occupied with other projects and baseball has started.

So, today is April 16. The Day-After-Tax-Day. I didn’t protest with the teabaggers. (Is that a horribly unfortunate name, or what? Nothing speaks to your lack of experience as a protester than picking up a moniker that happens to be a homonym for a particular form of hinky sex.) Protesting isn’t really my thing. Standing around with a placard and urging passing cars to honk doesn’t seem to me to be the most effectual of political resistance. (Oh no… I blog. Infrequently. Congress is fairly trembling, I’m sure.)

I sympathize with the protesters. Taxes are high, and despite the chorus of sycophants echoing Obama’s empty rhetoric about tax cuts, they’re going up for everyone. Tax cuts without corresponding spending cuts are tax increases. Spending is paid for with taxes; we don’t have any magical fun money–and just printing more regular money isn’t too smart either.

The problem with tax protests is that they sort of miss the mark. I’d rather see spending protests. Spending drives taxation. So long as the government can borrow, it will always spend more than it earns. That debt must be paid for and taxes will be levied. So let’s protest stupid government spending. Let’s protest the massive unfunded liability that is Social Security. Let’s protest the absurdity of the stimulus bills and the budget that stands as a monument to irrational exuberance. If you thought irrational exuberance on Wall street was bad, wait until you see the concussive effects of an exuberant Congress.

Or not. Protesting in April probably won’t make much difference to November elections (especially since the big mid-term election cycle is next November). Organized political activity, however, can make a difference. If these protests are the first wave of an organizing effort to mobilize disaffected voters and harness them for direct political action, then that would be all to the good.

But how organized can they be if they call themselves teabaggeers?

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