A friend of mine sent me this today. I will call this the conservative tax rant. (Please read the rant.) We’ve all seen multiple variations of this tax rant over the years. This e-mail is a mix of probably three or four different e-mails. I haven’t taken the time to look it up but I bet you it is so. The underlying theme throughout the e-mail is that we pay “too many taxes.” I would like to look at this from several different angles because I think it reveals the conservative mindset – do anything to make your point (including play loose with the facts) then drive it home over and over and over again until you get an emotional response.
First, deception. I have no idea when this e-mail was written. I suspect the person who sent it has no idea either. But one billion seconds ago equals a little over 31 years. If you’d like to round up, equals 32 years. 32 years ago makes it 1979. There’s a lot of difference between 1959 (which is stated in the e-mail) and 1979. I was alive in 1979 enjoying disco music (the BeeGees were hot), wearing bell bottoms and silk shirts. I was not even a twinkle in my mother’s eye in 1959. The purpose of this first section is to inflate how big one billion really is. Jesus was not alive 1,000,000,000 min. ago. Most scholars have him dying around the year 33 – 34 A.D. Remember, accuracy is not the point of this e-mail. The e-mail then launches into the fact that Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (a Democrat) is asking for approximately $250 billion to rebuild New Orleans. What the e-mail intentionally leaves out is the fact that Republican Senator David Vitter cosponsored the bill. What it also doesn’t mention is that the bill was never passed. The bill never left committee. It was read twice at the Senate Finance Committee. It never had a hearing. Nothing. Yet, the e-mail would have us believe that we spent $250 billion and basically gave the residents of New Orleans this money in a direct infusion.
Next, we have a laundry list of taxes. This laundry list is supposed to be so overwhelming to get you frustrated, mad, red in the face and ready for action. Let’s look at the first 10 taxes that are listed – Building Permit Tax, CDL License Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Federal Income Tax (Fed), Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax. How many of these taxes do you pay? I’m not building a building. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I do have a small corporation and I pay corporate income tax. I don’t have a dog. I do pay federal income tax. My federal unemployment tax is minimal since I really don’t make a whole lot of money in my corporation. I don’t fish. I don’t pay a food license tax or a fuel permit tax. So, what’s the point of listing all these taxes that most of us don’t pay? The point is not for the viewer to stop and think about this rationally, it but instead of you to get mad. It’s purpose is to get you to join the “I hate taxes” association.
More later. I need to go to work.