January Reminds People to Vote Republican

Tuesday, February 01, 2005
This is what the Democrats don't get. Every January people are reminded why it is better to be a Republican.

I did my taxes yesterday. I payed A LOT of taxes this past year. A LOT. I paid more taxes this year than most people earn. I paid enough in taxes to buy a new car, a NICE car. While that is good in the sense that I earned a lot of money, it strikes me as terribly unfair.

I am not rich. I earn a good living but few people could argue that I live an extravagent lifestlye. I take very little from others. I have never claimed unemployment, I have never been on welfare, and I don't get any tax breaks for being married, having children, or owning my own home. Yet somehow I am deemed the one best suited to pay for all of this. My virtue, the fact I pulled myself up and have never asked for anything, makes me the one who must bear the greatest burden.

Am I being selfish? Absolutely. But few people who know me would think I am. I donate my time to good causes when I can, I donate to charity every year, and I'm an honest man. I worked hard and sacrificed a lot to be in the position I am. I studied hard, didn't party in school, and squeezed every penny so I can have something for later. I don't mind giving to others since I have a lot but shouldn't I be able to take care of myself and my loved ones first? Why must I care for other people's children and families first before I care for mine?

Yes I know, Republicans spend a lot of money and the budget rose the fastest under W. But the fact remains that the Republican platform is for smaller government, lower taxes, and ensuring that everyone is a Christian. OK, the last part I can't get on board with but everything else sounds good to me.

I have always voted Democrat. I believed that no price was too high to ensure personal freedom; that was until I started paying the bill.

12 comments:

Ryan said...

Ok, I'm really tired of the lie that "Republicans stand for smaller government". No. It's a myth that is only spread by Republican supporters. Where do you find this policy? If it is real and valid surely it would be found in one of two places, their stated platform and their actual polices as practiced. I would argue that only the second one matters but let's check both.

Check out the official Republican party platform. Find a mention of "smaller government" or any similar phrase? Nada. In fact, it looks pretty much the same as the official Democratic party platform but with fewer slams on Bush. Both parties ramble on about better education, better health care, protecting the nation, helping the environment, etc. That's why during the debates the candidates mostly attacked each other's record. Their stated platforms are mostly the same. They both say things like, "My plan will help the economy by creating more jobs and reducing unemployment". NEVER did Bush say, "We need a smaller government."

How about the actual specific policies of the Republican party? Well, under each of the Republican presidents in the last quarter century the government grew. Not only did it grow, but for each of these Republican presidents it grew at a higher rate than while under the democratic president before or after him. As for taxes Bush may have made his one famous tax cut but he has also increased hidden taxes (ie. "fees" for government services) by unprecedented levels and most people are still losing about the same amount of their income to taxation. In addition the amount taken out for medicare has increased under Bush. Doesn't it strike you as somewhat contradictory that you are complaining that too much of your income is taxed at the end of four years of a Republican administration? In fact, I remember you blogging about Bush's tax cut saying it doesn't save you much money. Clearly Republicans haven't solved the problem. I'd wager that it wont get any better in the coming four years since the budget deficit continues to grow and war spending is increasing. Overall people end up being taxed more or less similarly regardless of who controls the Whitehouse or Congress.

So, no, the Republican party does not stand for smaller government in theory or in practice. That idea only exists in popular misconception. And this urban legend spread by conservative voters doesn't affect national tax policy. It's time for the myth to die.

T said...

Ryan, while I respect your opinion I believe you are wrong. The philosophical differences between the Republican party and the Democratic party are vast. While in practice I believe everyone moves toward the center, at the core of their philosophy they are vastly different.

You make it sound as if Republicans and Democrats are the same. In truth, many politicians are and many have forgotten what their party represents.

Republicans date back to the 1850's but really their roots are from Thomas Jefferson. At the core of Republican beliefs is the individual and individual rights as opposed to a large government. True Republicans would like nothing better than to eliminate welfare and other social programs. This is why they appeal to the wealthy white American male.

Democrats also have a lengthy history but the prototypical democrat his Franklin Roosevelt (Unless you want to go back to the day when Democrats advocated the expansion of slavery). At the core of what Democrats believe is that government should be used as a vehicle to help people. They believe that it is governments place to provide for those who can't otherwise help themselves. They tend to be strong supporters of Social Security and welfare programs. This is why they historically appeal to blacks and hispanics who disproportionally tend to use such programs. It is also why they tend to appeal to women who have a natrual instinct to take care of others.

So sorry, it isn't some urban myth. If it is then 90% of Americans have lined up on the wrong side. I agree that W and Reagan are not the models of what Republicans should be in terms of fiscal responsibility but I believe I addressed that in my original post, so no, I'm not contradictory.

If you still disagree than what are you implying are the differences between the Republican and Democratic platform? By your comment you seem to state they are the same but clearly that can not be the case.

Kat said...

i like tax cuts under republicans, because i don't want them spending my tax money on missiles and war and discriminatory policies, and legislating their religion.

i don't mind paying more taxes under democrats because the tax money goes to programs that help (not rich) people, attempt to level the playing field, and often pursue diplomatic peace in the world.

T said...

Kathryn,

The only problem I have with your statement is that somehow it is OK for the government to tax to help the poor but it is not OK to promote a religion.

I'm sorry, but as an atheist I have to say they are, if not one and the same, very closely related. People often equate charity with a good humane thing to do. While I agree it is very humane, it is definitely a moral and religious question. (Before you flame me I'm not implying you can't want to give to charity and be an atheist. I am such a person). However, really think about it.

If you aren't religious there are few reasons to compel you be "good to your fellow man". Why is giving to others considered a good thing? Predominantly because most religions say it is. However, if you grow up not believing in any sort of religion it can be justifiably argued that charity is not a necessary virtue.

This is why I believe government should stay out of everything. I believe in personal choice. I believe if we were not taxed to support such programs people would have more money which they can freely choose to donate to charity.

Ryan said...

Please tell me you don't think that if 90% of Americans believe something it must be true? I didn't think so. Ok, let's move on.

I'm not saying that Republicans and Democrats are exactly the same. I'm pointing out that their officially stated platforms are similar. This isn't opinion, it's a fact. Look at the wording yourself. There are differences, but the bigger issues sound the same (ie. protect the environment, help seniors, fight terrorists, etc.) However, in practice they are quite different. For instance, in practice modern Republicans tend to be bigger spenders.

And yes, it is a myth that Republicans favor small government. I gave a pretty thorough explanation of why I said so. You can't counter that by bringing up the way Republicans were a century ago and certainly not by bringing up a non-Republican president who served over 200 years ago. By that logic you could say that the Republican party stands for segregation and the Democrats stand for slavery and secession. Those people/policies are no longer indications of what the party stands for. The definition has changed over time and it's invalid to use the working definition from Eisenhower's days. Sorry, but historical tendencies don't count. The historical Republican platform has contributed greatly to the popular conception but was abandoned long ago. When you go to the polls today, you are not voting on Jefferson or Lincoln. You are voting for or against the modern Republican party, so it's useless to reminisce about what the party used to be.

Another staple of traditional GOP policy was staunch isolationism. Other countries should leave us alone and we'll leave them alone. Today the Republican party is big on playing "global cop". And not just Bush Jr. There have been US troops overseas during every Republican president since WWII. Surely you wouldn't describe the current Republican party as isolationist, why cling to the belief they are still small government?

Both parties change over time. No serious political analyst would deny this. To use an antiquated definition is pointless. Why can't we all just be honest and call things as they are today, not as how they used to be in the 1920s?

Kat said...

terrence, to say charity and religion are one in the same is ludicrous. come on.

T said...

I didn't say they were the same but they are related.

It is a question of morality. Charity is a morality issue. You, I, and most Americans believe it is a good thing to help others. However just because most people believe something (Yes Ryan the majority is not always right) does not make it right.

By forcing people to pay for welfare, social security, etc. you are essentially forcing others to follow your morality. There are many people who do not believe Charity is a virtue and it is hard to argue the point without bringing questions of morality, and more often than not Religion, into the argument. Go ahead, try it.

Ryan said...

Here is how welfare and religion are different. The constitution forbids the government from promoting one while explicitly listing the other as one of the main purposes of said government.

"We the people of the United States, in order to ... promote the general welfare ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

I know, I know; the specifics are up to interpretation. So, I'm not going to argue about whether we must provide health coverage or unemployment benefits based on the preamble. Just want to point out that they do fall under different categories in the US constitution. I'll leave this one alone now.

susan said...

I can't agree that morality and religion are the same thing. Though I do think many Republicans would have you thing so. :)

T said...

How many times do I have to say that you don't have to be religous to be "moral"?

Morality exist because someone has a certain set of beliefs. It is immoral to steal, it is immoral to kill, etc. Aside from basic human rights such as you shouldn't kill someone and otherwise do harm to them everything else like "help thy neighbor" is arbitrary and a moral belief. It can not be said that it is universally accepted that charity is a good thing. It is clearly a moral question.

I simply don't believe government should have any say in morality, whether it is saying you shouldn't be homosexual or whether it is saying you should help others. Its two sides of the same coin.

susan said...

Well really I was trying to make a joke but rereading what you say I guess here is where I got that idea "If you aren't religious there are few reasons to compel you be "good to your fellow man". Why is giving to others considered a good thing? Predominantly because most religions say it is. However, if you grow up not believing in any sort of religion it can be justifiably argued that charity is not a necessary virtue.
" To me that implied that religious=moral=charity. I don't think you have to be religious to be good to your fellow man.

Boy, you sure racked up the comments on this one. :)

David Cho said...

Hey, do what I did.

- Buy a house (In Orange County :)).
- Work for yourself.

Tax writeoffs rocks!