John Scalzi has one of the best rants about the sheer absurdity of the Bush tax cuts that I've read - far better than my own frustrated rant.
The bottom line is that these tax cuts are fiscally irresponsible. (Financial Times, "US 'faces future of chronic deficits'", 5/29/03). John makes a compelling and passionate argument that deserves to be read in its entirety.
The common argument by the principled right (whose existence i don't doubt, though Matthew does ask the reasonable question, where the hell are they?) is that government spending is axiomatically bad, counter to the Founder's ideals, etc. But the truth is that government has been teh catalyst for growth. If you want to see a world of unbridled capitalism and small, meek government, cast your gaze to the era of Tamany Hall or Teddy Roosevelt. Not even the most iron-hearted conservative today would argue that short life expectancies, rampant public diseases, child labor, sweatshops, dirt roads, inadequate sewage systems, polluted water, debilitating old age, etc were Good Things. It's taxation that has conquered all of these terrible things, and that has freed the potential of American capitalism and American People to go on to build even greater wealth.
The Progressive Agenda may not have even had form in the Founders' Time. That was because the much more basic issue was freedom. "Live free or die" is more than just a phrase, it's the essence of what the Founders sought to achieve. That battle has been won against Britain, but what about against our own darker natures? To categorically lump all Progressive idology as "anti-Founder" is a rhetorical deus ex machina - The Gods Disapprove, according to these self-styled Prophets of American Freedom. Who gave them any more right than myself to divine what the purpose of freedom is? To live like dogs under the thumb of a ruling superclass?
Denying that government taxation funds a great empowerment of the common citizen is to wish a return back to Tamany Hall and the Robber Barons and aristocratic classes. Could the great American entrepeneurial successes of the 20th Century - Microsoft, Fed Ex, AOL, Qualcomm - have occurred in such a climate? No, because without government improving the quality of life for the average citizen, those great visionaries would never have had the resources, education, or simple good health to pursue their vision.
Taxation - and government spending - is the lifeblood of our society. Every billionaire in this country owes a huge part of their success to the atmosphere of entrepeneurship which this country is built on. That atmosphere does not exist except to the priveleged few in a world where government is prevented from acting on behalf of the common man.
This is the central truth of why America is so successful and powerful. Because every man woman and child has the true ability to achieve their dreams. And it happened because of taxation. And it is threatened by these tax cust that are now law. What sacrifice have we made from the pool of our children's potential?
Government services are the Commons, and the tax cuts are the Tragedy.