Wednesday, February 14, 2007

DarthDoyle's Coercive Agenda

While reading an essay on "Liberal vs. Conservative" written by a self-described "Thomist," (and a very bright one, indeed) the following paragraph jumped out:

Most social coercion today seems to come from those called liberal/left, not from those called conservatives, who are pretty "liberal" by comparison to self-designated "liberals." But then social coercion has always been a trademark of the left, which is overly anxious to improve things in this world, as, in their view, there is no other world or no other way to accomplish any improvement. So we find a certain impatience and restlessness in their agenda. The spiritual origins of totalitarianism are often found in a certain impatience at the slowness of the world to become what the ideologies tell us it ought to become.

One of the better coersive devices is taxation. It's a neat device because it can serve a number of purposes. The original purpose was to finance the operation of Government, to include paying various State officers, building public-good infrastructure, and, of course, defense. Not unreasonable, to the degree that such public goods are in balance with the public's actual need.

The next purpose became 'social engineering.' Want people to buy homes? Make mortgage-interest and real-estate taxes deductible. Want a lot of children to grow the national wealth? Make children deductible. Want folks to buy things? Make consumer-interest deductible. (Or provide special credits for buying certain kinds of cars.) Want to make corn into fuel? Provide "tax credits." You get the idea.

But why merely provide incentives when one can also use tax revenues to effect Social Goals by spending those revenues? In other words, why wait around for the taxpayers to Do the Right Thing with those tax incentives?

We have Things To Do!!!

Like, for example, raising the pay and benefits of teachers, or paving every square foot of the State not already dedicated to gambling palaces, or making Health Care available to all, or requiring taxpayers to finance health-insurance for a chosen few, (such as non-married 'partners' of employees of the State)?

After all, what choice do taxpayers have? Remember, we are dealing with coercion here. In effect, the Government is the Sheriff of Nottingham, (or his principal, the King.) If you don't turn over the money, the State can and will take it, by force.

That's why our essayist used the word "Totalitarianism."

Twelve months ago, DarthDoyle's agenda was kept in his closet, carefully hidden from most residents of this State. Last night, he unveiled it.

We know that DarthDoyle is smart. He thinks he can play the hand he presented.

That remains to be seen. Robin Hood, and his successors including Thomas Paine, provide role-models for those Republicans and common-sense Democrats remaining in the Legislature.

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