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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Friedman Field Dresses Palin

Shambollocks has made itself very clear before- we believe the next American president should raise taxes across the board, but most heavily against the rich. America is drowning in debt, and now we have to pay off a $700 billion dollar buyout of bad bank debt to boot. Somebody, somewhere has to pony up the cash. If we don't pay it off with tax revenue, we have to pay it off by borrowing more money from China.

The Republicans don't like taxes. They don't think they should pay them. They think the other guy should. Sarah Palin even said that paying taxes was not patriotic during the VP debate. Good ole Thomas Friedman takes her down in yesterday's New York Times.

Criticizing Sarah Palin is truly shooting fish in a barrel. But given the huge attention she is getting, you can’t just ignore what she has to say. And there was one thing she said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: “You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.”

What an awful statement. 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. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

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.

Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

I can understand someone saying that the government has no business bailing out the financial system, but I can’t understand someone arguing that we should do that but not pay for it with taxes. I can understand someone saying we have no business in Iraq, but I can’t understand someone who advocates staying in Iraq until “victory” declaring that paying taxes to fund that is not patriotic.

How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States? Do these people understand what serious trouble our country is in right now?

Yes they do, Thomas. But they don't care. The Republican party represents the haves, and the haves will walk out of this crisis quite alright. It will be the have-nots who take it on the chin, have to make career switches and put off retirement, and get told that they're 'real Americans' and that their values are protected. The Republicans will leave us all destitute, but by golly, our marriages will still be sacred!

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