Services or taxes – which is it?

Jeff Gerber's July 20 letter, “Study Hard, N.C. Legislature,” perfectly illustrates the conservative mindset about government revenue and spending. He says, "making cuts to the law-enforcement and judicial system is ludicrous," and "conservatives never raise taxes.” Money doesn't grow on trees; it has to come from somewhere. In the case of government-provided services such as law enforcement, that money comes from taxes. So which is it? Law-enforcement services or no raised taxes?

The glaringly obvious thing here is that conservatives have no problem with spending. They don't want to spend it on what they don't want to spend it on. I pay the same taxes that Mr. Gerber does, but I would rather that my money go to support the community in positive, constructive ways rather than on incarceration. It is far more expensive to arrest, try and incarcerate for many crimes, especially for things like drug possession, then it is to put that person through rehab.

He says, "Make the cuts where cuts are needed, and leave the rest alone.” This is where the conservative argument breaks down every single time. OK, where are they needed? Education? Health care? Infrastructure? All of these things are valuable government services that very few people would argue against. The problem for conservatives is that they want the services, but don't want to pay for them. So which is it?

— Jim Konczyk
Marshall

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10 thoughts on “Services or taxes – which is it?

  1. Ashevegasjoe

    “Conservatives never raise taxes”–that’s funny. Reagan and Bush 1 loved to talk about not raising taxes, but had no problem signing off on them. Today Reagan would be called a RINO.

  2. chops

    “They don’t want to spend it on what they don’t want to spend it on.”

    That’s the very definition of a liberal or a conservative, or even a tea-bagger. Everyone wants some taxes and some spending. You have to have a budget. The only difference is priorities.

    Conservatives prioritize security (military, police, fire dept)
    Liberals prioritize quality-of-life (public libraries, parks, healthcare)

    Conservatives prioritize freedom (private property, individual rights)
    Liberals prioritize responsibility (environment, human rights)

    And, as far as I can tell, the tea party prioritizes the U.S. Bill of Rights (which is basically all about security and freedom — making them uber-conservatives).

  3. Bill Miller

    It never ceases to amuse me that some of my progressive liberal democrat friends find it necessary to cloud the debate with 1) personal attacks on politicans with opposing points of view, & 2) the muddying of the waters on the issues itself.

    No one is talking about cutting essential government “services” like fire and police protection. Those have always been government functions. Conservatives are in favor of examining and perhaps cutting non-essential items and waste. No taxpayer money for pork barrel projects, for instance, like the infamous Teapot Museum.

    Thomas Paine stated that American citizens have a right to keep the fruits of their labor. Our country was founded on such principles. So I am with those founding fathers who also believed: “The government that governs least, governs best.” American citizens should have lots of personal freedom to pursue their dreams as they see fit without the interference of a big expensive nanny government who will tax them into the poor house.

    Of course I’m just a mean old conservative. My progressive liberal democrat friends “care” enough about others that they want to continually raise taxes on “the other person”. The mythical “rich” person that always needs to pay more is never Themselves. :)

  4. Dionysis

    “Conservatives prioritize security (military, police, fire dept)
    Liberals prioritize quality-of-life (public libraries, parks, healthcare)
    Conservatives prioritize freedom (private property, individual rights)
    Liberals prioritize responsibility (environment, human rights)

    And, as far as I can tell, the tea party prioritizes the U.S. Bill of Rights…”

    Gee, this sounds as if it was lifted from a 1950s civics text book. Conservative economic policies have had, and will continue to have, an adverse impact on military (especially health care), police and fire services.

    “There are 70 spending cuts targeting everything from federal, state, and local law enforcement, food safety inspections, the IRS, Department of Treasury, Arts programs, and public radio, education and the Food and Drug Administration. Anyone making a perusal of the spending cuts list will quickly notice that every regulatory agency is on the chopping block as a nod to America’s advancement toward corporatism. As Republicans have promised, they are cutting programs for the poor like community health centers, maternal and child health grants, family planning, National Institute for Health, and HUD community development funding as well as job training programs, mental health services and poison control centers. Republicans have even targeted law enforcement because the oil industry does not benefit from money used to combat crime.”

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/gop-budget-cuts

    Individual rights? Hmmm, let’s see…attacks on voting rights, attacks on the freedom to unionize, attacks on women’s reproductive rights, attacks on the very electoral process and democracy (in Michigan), etc. etc. etc.

    Now the private property part is correct; in fact, they are so supportive that they want to turn the country into a corporate plutocracy, and with the current Supreme Court, Inc. behind them, they are well on their way to doing so.

    As for the so-called ‘Tea Party’ and their support of the Bill of Rights, based upon listening to an endless stream of these people on television interviews, it seems more accurate to say that they support one of the Bill of Rights (the 2nd Amendment…”don’t mess with my guns”), but probably haven’t read the other nine. They surely have no fealty to the Constitution or they wouldn’t be pushing to change it (via constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget).

  5. bill smith

    [b]The mythical “rich” person that always needs to pay more is never Themselves. :)[/b]

    Are you thinking of unicorns? Because rich people really do exist. And many don’t pay a lot of taxes, either.

    But sure, make the middle and working class ‘pay more’. That can’t have any negative effects on the consumer-based economy.

    [b]No taxpayer money for pork barrel projects, for instance, like the infamous Teapot Museum. [/b]

    Yeah! Or Abortions, or gay muslim terrorist training centers. All those sorts of things.

  6. Big Al

    Before Liberals/Democrats start complaining about cuts in services in the first TWO years of Republican rule, let them explain the ridiculous tax increases, fraud, waste and overregulation during their 100+ YEARS in the majority in NC, and 40+ years in Congress.

  7. sharpleycladd

    Dionysis is right – America might be better off if it had some real conservatives. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with a political party that favors transferring public wealth (tax revenues) to private, organized capital (Halliburton) to the detriment of our citizens (military personnel being electrocuted in the shower).

    As long as “conservatives” in this country continue to grab the social issues bait (gay marriage and abortion), political interests that have absolutely no loyalty to this country and its constitution will use their votes to privatize any function of government that can be operated profitably, resulting in higher fee-for-service for all of us, fewer jobs, and more monopolies to control our political process.

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