It always amazes me about how quickly we humans, or at least we American humans, can be manipulated into fits of righteous rage against things that are absolutely in our best interests, but we don't know it. The reason we don't know it, of course, is because loud, shouting bloggerheads, tea baggers and Repugs keep telling us the opposite of what's true, thus rewriting history, logic, economic theory, and the basic principles of right and wrong. It can be confusing, I must admit.
What really gets me, though, is how poor and working people can be so adamantly opposed to the very notion of taxation. It's become an evil plot, certainly a dirty word, the very utterance of which has come to be the real-world equivalent to Harry Potter shouting: "Voldemort!" in a crowded dining hall.
It seems that for pretty much the same kind of reasoning that can send people who depend on Medicare, for example, into a foam-frothing rage about a "government takeover" of their health care, those same people can feel the same way about paying taxes.
Granted, the tax system is grossly unfair. It's grossly unfair to the Middle Class, which carries the heaviest tax burden of all, in the form of payroll taxes and sales taxes, which are inordinately burdensome to the poor and middle classes as well. Yet all those people ranting about "big government" and Obama the Socialist (or "Communist" or "Nazi," sometimes in the same breath) are people who are heavily dependent on government largesse for, often, their own Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability, military pensions, VA care, you name it. And these same people would go apoplectic should anyone even dare to suggest that we should cut back on the world's largest military, for example, with a budget equal to the rest of the world combined. Nor would they tolerate the very notion that we should maybe reconsider the $billion a day we spend on our various wars, or twenty year retirements for politicians, police and other public servants at full pay, or all those freeways, airports, sports stadiums, schools, colleges, fire stations, bridges and so on that are paid for on the public nickel with our tax money that presumably someone else needs to spring for since we don't want to and ain't gonna.
But to even dare to suggest that, hey, here's an idea, let's tax the rich bankers, Wall Street tycoons, arms dealers, oil executives and corporate CEOs for their stock options and derivatives instead, and you're up against the wall, motherfucker, for talking treason.
Rich people do have a strong sense of entitlement, and have pocketed senators, judges, and whole government agencies to do their bidding and protect their interests, and most of them, or their corporate entities, don't pay taxes anyway. They are quite happy to let the workers and middle class keep footing the rising bills, blaming each other or politicians from some other state (never their own) for all that corruption and so on. But what amazes me is that the workers back them up every time, and even stage rallies defending Big Oil from communist socialistic meddlers daring to suggest they pay their fare share to support a system that benefits them so greatly.
All the tea baggers who are screaming bloody murder about paying what is actually the lowest tax rate in the developed world haven't said a peep about the Goldman Sachs types who looted our economy and pocketed the proceeds (all done legally) or all the Bush/Cheney cronies and their handpicked SEC guardians like Enron and Haliburton. Instead, they vent rage on anyone who suggests these criminals should be held accountable for the grandest cases of larceny in the history of the world, ongoing. It's un-American, I guess, to critize the rich and powerful for not paying their fare share and exploiting the rest of us at the same time because everybody else wants to do it too, given half a chance.
I've thought about this incongruity for a long time that is so uniquely American, and can come up with one answer, and one answer only as to why this is so. The answer is simple: Joe Plumber is on the side of Big Oil because any day now he's going to be rich too, because he's got big dreams and big plans, plus a winning lottery number for sure, next lotto game around. And hey, since he, and you, are all going to be invited to join the country club any day now, we wouldn't want those gov'mint meddlers tampering with our rightful winnings, would we? We want to keep every penny of those millions to come, same as those Wall Street guys do. It's the American Way to the American Dream. And let somebody else pay, but don't even think about not building that new prison down the street, because that's where all those people who disagree with you and them ought to be, and the sooner the better!
Plus, I got an uncle who's a prison guard, who can retire next year at 40 with $60,000 for life and promised to buy me a new car, so no way you're gonna cut his benefits, jack. 'Cause I'm locked and loaded, and won't back down!