The Establishment Media on Tax Day

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How does the establishment media mark Tax Day? By telling you to be glad you pay so little and that you should expect to pay more in the future.

This Newsweek item by Robert Samuelson correctly points out that the government’s ongoing spending will eventually require someone to pay for it — namely you, most likely in the form of higher taxes.

But Samuelson assumes this spending is a given, that we must keep on spending and therefore we must tax more. He never considers the possibility that we could stop waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop spending money on keeping troops in the rest of the world, or stop spending billions on bailouts and other handouts to the politically connected.

Instead, from the establishment perspective that he and Newsweek represent, the “one obvious solution” is to take (or, he fails to mention, print) more money.

And the first step, as we see here, is to convince you that there’s nothing you can do about this — so you’d better just get used to it and be thankful that our leaders have let you off so easy for so long.

Of course, many Americans do want it both ways: low taxes but no cuts to the military, social security, and whatever else is important to them. Samuelson is right that this is unsustainable, but he’s not right that higher taxes are inevitable. Americans will have to make a choice as to whether they want much more government or much more freedom. I don’t know which they’ll choose, but I’m glad the internet exists as an alternative to Newsweek and the Washington Post to at least let people know that there is an alternative.

3:12 pm on April 15, 2010