Hand outs or wave ‘byes

Jun 4, 2003

From the New Yorker:

It’s tempting to suggest that the Bush Administration is failing to provide Iraq with functioning, efficient, reliable public services because it doesn’t believe in functioning, efficient, reliable public services—doesn’t believe that they should exist, and doesn’t really believe that they can exist. The reigning ideologues in Washington—not only in the White House but also in the Republican congressional leadership, in the faction that dominates the Supreme Court, and in the conservative press and think tanks—believe in free markets, individual initiative, and private schools and private charity as substitutes for public provision. They believe that the armed individual citizen is the ultimate guarantor of public safety. They do not, at bottom, believe that society, through the mechanisms of democratic government, has a moral obligation to provide care for the sick, food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and education for all; and to the extent that they tolerate such activities they do so grudgingly, out of political necessity. They believe that the private sector is sovereign, and that taxes are a species of theft.
Could this be true? It has the ring of truth to it, but it does seem quite strident.

And from the Wall Street Journal column by Cynthia Crossen (a historical look at a current business or economic issue) comes this quote:

But Benton McMillin of Tennessee, responding to allegations that the income tax was a “tax on thrift” and a “penalty on success,” declared, “As you have been enabled to accumulate this wealth by the blessings of free institutions, contribute something to perpetuate them.”

Anton Zuiker

© 2000 Zuiker Chronicles Publishing, LLC