The “Big Lies“ that “Conservatives“ use to get elected in Representative Republics around the World are bound within the words “tax reform“ and/or “lower taxes“. They are obvious lies because to the modern “Conservative“ politician their real meaning is lower taxes for the wealthiest citizens and for the Corporations controlled by the wealthiest citizens. This blanket truth holds forth whether it is being used by politicians in Topeka, Kansas; Marseilles, France; or in Adelaide, Australia.
The cries for “tax reform“ and/or “lower taxes“, are ones that resonate with most citizens everywhere. We humans chafe under the burden of taxation, because taxes feel like our wealth is being stolen away from us to give to some amorphous cause related to a larger society, to which we only feel marginally connected. For us human beings, though we have evolved to exist within larger societies, we feel most attached to our families and some close friends. When people are willing to die for Country, for instance, what they see as Country is conceptualized in terms of their closest loved ones. Society, Country, Nation or even Ethnicity are emotion laden abstractions to us, that we mentally fill in with images of those to whom we share the greatest affinity. It is this fact of the human mentality that causes us naturally to dislike and sometimes detest, “taxation“ in any form, which by its nature is collected for a larger good.
Some might justifiably say that the Thirteen States that broke away from the British Empire and formed the United States, did so over the issue of “No taxation without representation“. The most representative Colonial action to express this anger against foreign taxation was the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. This pivotal incident has been borrowed by the current American “Tea Party Movement“, now known as “The Freedom Caucus“ in Congress. The defining ethos of this movement is that they are rabidly anti-taxation in almost all of its’ forms. The truth of the “Tea Party Movement“, as the post attached to my link shows, is that they have been bankrolled by some of America’s wealthiest Billionaires, for the express purpose of lowering these Billionaires tax liability.
The “Big Lies“ at the heart of “tax reform“ and/or “lower taxes“ are that they represent broad based ideas to lower the tax burden on all the people and that is simply not the truth. Each and every instance of “tax reform“ in America in the last 60 years has resulted in the average American paying a greater percentage of their incomes towards taxation, while the wealthy One Percent and their Corporations, pay less and less towards maintaining our country. Any politician that would run for office stating this truth about “tax reform“ would of course never get elected. This is why they couch their positions in propagandist lies that tell the people they want to lower their tax burden and make their lives easier. Sadly, time and again, many in the gullible citizenry of representative Democracy fall for these lies and elect people who will work directly against their interests.
Back in 1969, when I was in my first year at night Law School, I took the required Income Tax Class. I remember getting a B+ in the class because I found it interesting and mentally accessible, taught by an engaging professor. The required Income Tax books for the course numbered about nine and covered the subject thoroughly. One Saturday in the following April, I sat myself down, surrounded by my Income Tax books, legal pads, pens, pencils, W2, receipts and other pertinent materials, ready to prepare my 1040 form for my 1968 taxes. I was fortified by my B+ and my legal materials, to get my maximum tax return. After I finished netting me a modest sum, I realized that I did not have any reason to consult any of my copious reference materials, nor was anything in that tax course of value in preparing this modest tax return.
Curious as to why that was, I skimmed through all my reference materials and came to the not so startling conclusion that I, someone of modest middle class income, was not even a minor part of the information and discussion within literally thousands of pages of tax regulations, court cases and other income tax discussions. The realization hit me, although it should have been obvious before I even began, that all of this regulation, legislation and court decisions was not meant for Americans of modest means.
Throughout the 1950’s the American system of progressive income taxation was a fair one that distributed the burden of governmental upkeep upon all citizens in an equitable manner. The American economy had grown into the best on the planet and the country’s infrastructure was a modern marvel. This was all possible because of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and its widespread acceptance throughout our country. However, a faction of the One Percent of America’s wealthiest citizens bridled under this and felt they were being unfairly robbed of their fortunes. They hired Madison Avenue advertising firms and prominent PR firms to craft together a new Conservative Movement in America, one that would be more beholden to their narrow interests. They lost with Goldwater in 1964 and won with Nixon in 1968. However, Nixon was a child of the Great Depression thus far too liberal for their tastes. Yet with the patience born of great wealth they spewed forth their propaganda and bided their time as they groomed the man who would be their champion, Ronald Reagan. The rest as you might say is history.
The genius of those hired by this One Percent is that they have crafted a program of “Big Lies“ that they have sold to many people, convincing these masses that modern Conservatism is their protector and their ally. Sadly, the opposite is true and yet so many of the gullible among us keep drinking the Kool-Aid. The proof is the clown they have elected as President.