Many Americans seem perplexed about the difference between conservatives and liberals. Some have even concluded that there are no real differences between those on the right and those on the left.
However, before locking into a hasty conclusion, one should consider how opposing ideologies view April 15 and the entire issue of taxation.
Conservatives believe April 15 is the absolute worst day of the year. A dreaded curse delivered by Satan himself, with the help of thousands of little devils disguised as bean counters and working for the IRS.
To those on the right, the 16th amendment is an unconstitutional intervention of government into the affairs of free men and women, culminating with the unlawful confiscation of wealth from successful entrepreneurs for unauthorized redistribution to scalawags, slothful oafs, and the economically unfit.
Given their druthers, conservatives would fly Old Glory at half-mast on April 15 to mourn and protest “nanny state” socialism.
After all, in a nation where individual initiative and personal responsibility have produced the most successful and prosperous society in human history, who needs oppressive tax policies?
Or taxes at all?
Liberals see things slightly differently. Most revere April 15 as a Holy Day, liken to the Day of Atonement.
To those on the left, the 16th amendment provides government bureaucrats with the power needed to force evil capitalists into atoning for “obscene profits.”
From the liberal perspective, money in obscene amounts is better off in the hands of government, rather than in the clutches of business people who actually produce goods and services while employing scores of millions of Americans.
Given their druthers, liberals would cancel Christmas and, in its place, install April 15th as a national holiday. Americans would then have an official day on which to give thanks for the 16th amendment, the IRS, and the Alternative Minimum Tax.
Conservatives argue that tax laws are oppressive because Uncle Sam seizes wealth from productive, responsible citizens in order to subsidize welfare queens, illegal aliens, and the unemployable.
“Involuntary servitude” is an unkind, but accurate, way to describe the disdain with which conservatives regard tax policy.
Liberals see taxes as essential in order to level the playing field between working blokes and the moguls of capitalism. Mogul is defined by liberals as any household where the total gross income exceeds $7,000 in any single tax year.
In keeping with their well-established tradition of smothering the truth with euphemistic snake oil, liberals call their punitive tax atrocities “progressive.”
That is like characterizing the Holocaust as “addition by subtraction.”
By sheer coincidence or unintelligent design, all who benefit from the redistribution of wealth are Democrats.
Only a cynic would entertain the notion that those who vote Democrat do so only because of government handouts.
That would, in effect, be a quid pro quid exchange of public gratuities for votes.
Conservatives, a cynical lot for the most part, see quid pro quid in everything Democrats do to win elections.
Some right wingers even claim that signs reading “Will Vote Democrat for Food” are commonplace at liberal precincts on Election Day.
April 15 is not without lighter moments.
Al Gore, owner of a massive twenty-room mansion, among other properties, covering ten thousand square feet, rocked the philanthropist world when it was disclosed that his charitable donations for a recent tax year consisted solely of used underwear.
Gore apologists hasten to point that the boxer shorts in question were not soiled and, in fact, had been washed and dried without the use of any electrical or natural gas appliances.
What would you do without Tipper and her robust elbow, Al?
President Bush disclosed that he and Laura paid $187,000 in taxes for 2006. That represents about 50 percent of the president’s annual government salary, which explains why Bush seems to spend about half of his time as the U.S. commander-in-chief and the other half as an illegal immigration consultant to Mexico.
Speaker Pelosi summed up the liberal philosophy on taxes rather succinctly when she said something like the following satirical paraphrase:
“In my view, the greatest problem facing our nation is that all the wrong people have the money these days. The rich and powerful are simply the wrong peoples to be entrusted with so much wealth.
Democrats plan to change that wealth dynamic through a series of bills designed to redistribute wealth to the poor and downtrodden, the less fortunate.”
That says it all. Welcome to the Nanny State of Nancy Pelosi!
John Lillpop is a Capitol Hill Coffee House staff writer.