Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dispatch from the Political Middle.

"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes, but I think we already overpay for what we get in Federal Government". ---words of a fictional "Politically Middle Voter"(really, me)

A bit of a pardox.

I think for a lot (most?) of people in the political middle, or people who just don't have the time or bandwidth to pay close attention, this is a fairly accurate "macro" view of the discussion on whether to raise Federal taxes or not.

However, if you apply this sentiment to individual programs, on a "micro" level,  I think you get a different outcome.  For example insert key words above with ANY Federal progam and see how you feel about it.  Examples:

"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for National Defense, but I think we already overpay for what we get in National Security". 
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for Social Security and Medicare, but I think we already overpay for what we get in Social Security and Medicare benefits"
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for Income Support programs for low income people, but I think we already overpay for what we get in return for helping low income people."
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes to fund public employee pensions, but I think we already overpay for what we give in retirement benefits for public employees."
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes to fund vital infrastructure projects, but I think we already overpay for the infrastructure we currently have".
If you are an ideologue and have definitive opinions on these issues, then these are easy for you. But if you are in the "Middle" it is not necessarily so clear.

As I think of more and more individual Federal programs, I find it more difficult to square the two clauses of the phrase I constructed.  How about you? Help me out.

You can do this at the State and Local level as well---insert police, firemen, and teachers (Oh, My!!).

Refer back to the original sentence that started this posting.  I blame current and past (40 years)Legislative and Executive branches for our jaded view expressed in the second clause in the sentence.  I resent this because it forces me to ponder the first clause. 

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