Ok. Well, obviously this guy is scumbag, but what really gets me about this particular case is that it’s such a blatant example of the attitude so prevalent among right-wing assholes that they should get to pick and choose what “their” tax money supports and attempt to impose their self-righteous, stunningly selfish and patently incorrect ideas of what’s worth spending money. Wake up, fuckers: people don’t get to pick what the government spends money on other than by means electing representatives to make those decisions or the occasional vote on a sales tax increase or school bond issue and other such things. And then, once the decision is made, whether it’s by the voters directly or by the vote of a legislature, then that’s just how it fucking is until the next election or the next action by an elected body. It’s not your tax money. It’s the general public’s tax money, and it needs to be used in ways that are of benefit to a broad and diverse public. (And you know it’s these same assholes who have their fingers ready to dial the publicly-funded 911 system to summon the publicly-funded cops every time they see a black person in the neighborhood).
But let me play the role of a Satanic, devilish advocate here for a moment and apply their idea of the proper role of government and the proper use of tax money to some of my ideals. Yesterday on the Diane Rehm Show, they conducted a tedious discussion about the dumb abortion debate vis a vis the impending health insurance reform legislation. One of the guests was Stephen Schneck, a douche who opposes not just abortion but also all contraception. You know the drill: Boohooohooo! I don’t want my tax money funding abortions! Waaaaah! I don’t want people using condoms!
Well, guess what? I don’t like war, yet I am a citizen of a country that has been in some sort of state of war pretty much continuously for most of the last century, with a very serious flare-up of it that’s been in progress for the last eight years. Why don’t the war-lovers—and let’s face it, this country is full of wealthy profiteers who love war and are not going to let it stop while the dollars keep flowing to their coffers—find a free market solution? If you want war, then you fucking pay for it! Get charities to fund it. Get unpaid volunteers to go into Holy Christian combat for you. See how well that fucking works! Hmm. Does the lunatic fringe perhaps think that this could be a good role for government? Of course they do, and they readily admit it. Why? Because their beloved bogus free enterprise system would never support a military operation on the scale of the current war. The money goes one way in their system: from the public treasury to private coffers. That’s the kind of free market they like, a market where public money is used to make rich war profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater.
I don’t much like churches either, and I wonder why they do not have to chip into the public fund. Why don’t they have to pay normal taxes like a regular business? They are a business, after all, peddling a product and hitting up their members to pay for it. Hmm. Could it be that the free market might fail here, too, if churches were left to function in the “real” economy? Within a five-minute walk from my home, there are at least a dozen churches. They don’t all look to be very wealthy either. Yeah, there is a huge and lavish enclave of the Roman Catholic Church up on the next street, but there is also another one that is a cinder block shack with spray-painted signage and another one in a decroded store front, and also some typical Plain-Jane Protestant joints that are neither nice like the Catholic church nor totally shabby like the lower end ones. But it’s an awful lot of religious venues within a very small area of the city, far more than any other single kind of business in the area. Could they all keep their doors open if they didn’t have their religious organization tax breaks? Would the market support it? Some of the enemies of the public libraries might concede that maybe one library per dozen towns might be reasonable, but certainly not one in every town. Well, what about one church per dozen towns? Do we really need all of these denominations all meeting in their own little buildings? If taxes were imposed and some of these little churches couldn’t afford it, then too damned bad. If people want the brand of religion being sold by the “Holy Nazarene Church of Christ the Lord” (or whatever the fuck that one in the run-down house over there is called), then maybe they need to open their wallets a little wider and start paying market rates for it. But what about the low-income people who can’t afford to contribute much? Two words: free market. In the American ideal of capitalism, the people who are too poor to pay, say fifty to a hundred bucks a head for admission to a proper free market church, would be shit out of luck. They should have worked harder and gotten rich. Just get rich. George W. Bush did. And you know what else? America-Jesus hates poor people anyway. So fuck off, you freeloaders.
And so, in conclusion, the enemies of public libraries and public schools and public money to help poor people can kiss my ass. If they can show me a way to make their pet projects (war and churches) function profitably under a free market model with no public support, then I will reconsider their arguments about libraries and eat my words (but I expect I’ll be having something else for dinner for a long time to come).