Left, Leftier, and Leftiest Daily Kos’ writer, Dante Atkins claims “Somebody has to pay for Society!” He begins his Veterans’ Day article empathizing with those vets who have not returned into society well, a most worthy cause, but that was introductory to his main issue……paying for the STATE. He writes;
“….”Golden State Democrats have a strong chance at sweeping all Statewide races, with one race still pending as absentee and provisional ballots continue to be counted. Democrats appear to have held every Congressional seat, as late returns have allowed Jim Costa to claim victory and have given Jerry McNerney much more breathing room. Despite taking thorough beating in state legislative races across the country, the Democratic caucus in the California State Assembly is now two seats stronger.
But despite these victories, some are claiming that Democrats are out of touch with the policies favored by the voters: out of eight statewide ballot measures on which the California Democratic Party issued an endorsement, the voters supported that position only twice. Of other six, three were measures related to taxes and fees: one would have imposed a small annual surcharge on vehicle license fees to fund state parks—and granted free admission to those parks for all payers. It was defeated. Another would have rescinded tax loopholes that allow big corporations to minimize their tax liability. It was defeated. And the third imposes a new two-thirds passage requirement for most fees, including those that would be imposed on industries to clean up their messes. It was passed.
If one chooses to look only at that data, it seems to send a clear message: voters don’t trust the government to spend money wisely. Fair enough. And yet, despite a string of austerity-based budgets that have significantly eroded the social safety net and made deep cuts to other services such as mental health programs, California still faces a projected budget deficit of around $25 billion. Not even Meg Whitman would believe that a deficit of that magnitude could be solved by the big axe she hoped to swing at the number of public employees, as well as their salaries and benefits.
It’s a deficit with consequences—and because corporations are no longer paying their fair share, and because both Republicans in the Capitol and the voters have decided that taxes and fee increases should become even harder to impose, part of the shortfall will be balanced on the backs of those who can least afford it: our students. The President of the University of California has just floated yet another tuition increase on California’s students—this one to the tune of eight percent. Further increasing the cost of tuition at our public university system will, of course, further reduce the system’s accessibility to the less fortunate, which will in turn decrease the economic opportunities that are afforded by a quality education, which will lead in turn to a feedback cycle of enhanced stratification between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Progressives and student organizations will mobilize to try to fight this new imposition on those who can afford it the least. But if past history is any indication, the likelihood of success is low, as tuition increases are one of the few revenue-raising options that have not been put practically off-limits.
So here’s an interesting question: what do you suppose would happen if that eight percent increase were put on the ballot before the voters? Yes, you’re right: it would fail miserably. But then…who is going to pay for it all?
Just like the voters in California, the voters across the country are going to have to realize that either someone will need to pay for government—for society—or they will get less of it. When you go shopping, you get what you pay for, and government is no exception. Now, this may sound like a dream come true for conservatives: we hear the limited-government litany from them every day. But contrary to conservative spin, “less government” doesn’t just mean less bureaucracy; it means less public education. It means higher tuition and fees for students and public universities. It means crumbling public infrastructure. It means outdated and unclean energy technology. It means unsafe food and polluted water and air. It means fewer breathtaking scientific breakthroughs. And eventually, it will also mean weakened armed forces, even though that will likely be the last area of our government to suffer the indignities borne by the rest of our public sector. All in all, It means a worse life for everyone Pretending that we can keep cutting taxes while still maintaining the same quality of services in our education, military and other public institutions is like pretending that we can buy a new Mercedes off the lot for the price of a Kia. It’s not going to happen. We cannot get something for nothing, and somebody, sometime, is going to have to pay for the institutions we have—or we will lose them.
In this regard, the sad excuse for a Deficit Reduction Commission has at least had some value, because it has presented one vision of how this will be accomplished. In the plutonomic vision of the Commission Chairs, of course, marginal tax rates for the wealthy are slashed by over a third, and made up for by cuts to social security benefits for seniors, the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction, and the assessment of admission fees (does that count as a tax on children?) for admission into the Smithsonian Institutions.
If any progressive has a different vision of who should pay for our society, now would probably be a good time to speak up.”
This is the youthful left which equates government with society. It is a Marxist construct, no doubt taught to Dante Atkins in college. He possesses a listing of the usual Marxist cliches against the religion’s opponents. Nothing here is original or thoughtful.
I suppose the Left would charge the same with the Ten Commandments. But, they cannot, for they would be recognizing the religion aspect of their beliefs…….and, too, they ban the Ten Commendments whereever their judicial tentacles can reach, and that may present a publicity problem.