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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Palin, patriotism, and (payroll) taxes

Gov. Palin made a big stink in the VP debate about taxes and patriotism:
You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America...that’s not patriotic. 
I couldn't disagree more, and Thomas Friedman has a great column today explaining why paying taxes is in fact far more patriotic than anything else Gov. Palin has suggested we do:
Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan...

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first. (emphasis mine)
A lot of Republicans consider it a given that taxes must go down, and then spending.  But we've tried that for every Republican administration since Ronald Reagan, and each time it's simply led to deficits and massive increases in the national debt

This is the issue: we currently spend what Americans expect from their government, but we don't ask them to pay for it.  Cutting spending means cutting programs Americans want, from defense to health care. 

It's time to do like the American family does in a pinch - try to make more money - and raise taxes.  Because it is patriotic to earn your living.

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