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“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”     Plato

April 19, 2009

Dissent is not unhealthy, it’s patriotic

by Jason Pye

Dissent is “unhealthy”:

A top adviser to President Barack Obama takes a dim view of last week’s anti-tax “tea parties,” promoted by organizers in the spirit of the Boston Tea Party.

“The thing that bewilders me is this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. So I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere because he certainly understands the burden that people face,” David Axelrod said Sunday.

The rallies coincided with the deadline to file income taxes, and gave people a chance also to voice frustrations about government spending and corporate bailouts.
[...]
Axelrod was asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” for his opinion on what the show’s host described as “this spreading and very public disaffection with not only the government, but especially the Obama administration.”

Axelrod replied: “I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that’s unhealthy.”

“Unhealthy?” the moderator repeated.

“This is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves. And so far these are expressions,” Axelrod answered.

These were peaceful protests were people displayed frustration, regardless of who co-opted or organized them, hundreds of thousands of people took time out of their day to express themselves. There is nothing unhealthy about that.

On a separate point. These “tax cuts” aren’t really tax cuts. It’s a direct spending program, according to the Congressional Budget Office (via FactCheck.org). A tax cut is a reduction in tax rates, not a check or tax credit.

Also, 95 percent of taxpayers did not get a “tax cut,” despite the talking points from MSNBC or CNN. The Tax Policy Center (again, via FactCheck.org) shows that 75 percent of taxpayers are affected. The average “tax cut” is $13 a week, which is marginal and not likely to help anyone once you factor in the rising cost of living, the increase in gas prices and rising property taxes.

You have to take the deficit into account, which will be a record this year at $1.8 trillion. You’re not cutting taxes unless you are cutting spending as well. It’s one of the great myths of the Bush Administration. Yes, he cut the tax rate, but he and his Republican cohorts effectively raised taxes on the next generation by spending liken drunken sailors.

Obama is only worsening an already dire situation. It’s not a problem we can just tax our way out of either, because you put economic prosperity at risk whenever you raise taxes. So tough choices will need to be made, but Obama isn’t going to make them. He’ll do what is politically popular, damn the future, and use it in his re-election campaign.


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7 Comments

  1. Barry and the Socialists were saying it was healthy when it attacked a GOP President with vile and despicable charges of “lying.”

    I guess that dissent that lies is healthy, while dissent that tells the truth is to be attacked in the cloudcuckooland of the far Left.

    Comment by James Young — April 19, 2009 @ 2:33 pm
  2. Dissent is a wonderful thing, so long as it’s not directed towards you.

    Obama loved protests attacking Bush. He’ll love them attacking the next GOP President. But while they’re attacking him? Not so much.

    And my whopping $13? Yeah…I can “stimulate” the fast food industry? Gee thanks.

    Comment by Tom Knighton — April 19, 2009 @ 3:51 pm
  3. A common misconception by Obama supporters is that these Tea Parties are opposed to current taxes. What they are actually opposed to is the current spending, and the future taxes that must pay it back.

    Comment by Peter — April 20, 2009 @ 5:03 am
  4. Are you sure you are not taking Axelrod out of context? I’m sure he meant to say “…dessert is unhealthy.”

    By the way I fail to see why you guys are always picking on the Repbulicans who are indeed the more fiscally conservative party arter all. While Obama’s Democrats are spending ludicrous amounts of money which hasn’t been yet earned by people who have yet to exist, the Republicans only spent insane amounts of money leveraged against money borrowed from those who could never pay it back.

    There is a huge distinction there you know…

    Comment by persncikety curmudgeon — April 20, 2009 @ 5:12 am
  5. Peter –

    It’s not a misconception. It’s a deliberate argument to make it look like Tea Partiers are complaining about nothing. See my open letter post below on this.

    Comment by Quincy — April 20, 2009 @ 7:04 am
  6. Exactly Quincy.

    I rather feel this whole thng is all about tit for tat.The Republicans angered the Left by spending “welfare” money on wars so the Democrats feel perfectly justified in their school yard antics of spending “military” money on “welfare”…even if there is no money to spend…

    Comment by persncikety curmudgeon — April 20, 2009 @ 8:38 am
  7. The Republicans angered the Left by spending “welfare” money on wars so the Democrats feel perfectly justified in their school yard antics of spending “military” money on “welfare”…even if there is no money to spend…

    And that’s why the message of the Tea Parties is dangerous to both parties. The debate in Washington is always on how the money should be spent, not whether it should be spent at all. Now, a group of “uppity” taxpayers are getting together and trying to stop the spending.

    It’s no wonder Axelrod thinks the Tea Parties are “unhealthy”. They break up a very carefully crafted bi-partisan narrative.

    Comment by Quincy — April 20, 2009 @ 9:15 am

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