Proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Expanded from the 1-16-00
Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
I've been exchanging e-mails with a guy I'll call Billy the Bailiff. I thought his mind a terrible thing to waste, so I spent time reaching out to him. Here's how it went.
BILLY: Please get off the "raise taxes" binge. It is all that we hear from you. How about looking into reducing spending, the size of government, and forging Nevada ahead? You'll drive us all out of here!
BARBWIRE: Your comments are warmed-over Reaganisms and don't apply here. Please read my column of Sept. 19, 1999, entitled "Sen. Neal, conservatives and Gov. Dudley Do-Right agree."
It disclosed a Nevada Commission on Economic Development study which proves low-wage gambling jobs force expansion of government services.
BILLY: Using the boogie man word on me, eh? Reaganism! Isn't it time that the Liberal Democrats learned that consumers ultimately pay for all tax increases?
BARBWIRE: Not so. Unlike babies in the womb, corporations have been defined as persons under the law for more than 100 years. Corporations are consumers. They certainly pay taxes and cannot always pass them through. Get an economics textbook. You will find that sometimes that nasty thing called competition prevents pass-throughs of costs.
BILLY: If casino employees want higher wages, how in the world will an increased gaming tax give it to them?
BARBWIRE: By uplifting community standards. If more and better jobs become available because a city attracts high-tech companies paying better wages, the clubs will have to pay more to attract workers. A rising tide will lift all boats.
Get a copy of "America: Who Really Pays The Taxes?" by two-time Pulitzer Prize winners Donald Barlett and James Steele. It shows that when we began to make corporations almost tax-exempt and our government began to assist them in exporting jobs, we started on the path toward lowered expectations. People like you and me get squeezed while the rich get richer at our expense. (For more information, enter the word "Barlett" at search engine.)
BILLY: I suggest that we start getting the horses in front of the cart and teach our people that increased personal income will result from their own training and education.
BARBWIRE: Casinos don't want highly educated personnel. They exploit the low-wage labor pool and foist the costs onto the taxpayers. You have apparently not taken the time to read the Guinn-Hunt administration study as I recommended.
The official gambling industry line is that companies brought here to diversify the economy pay no taxes. That's an oft-repeated lie and caused Republican Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt to commission the research.
BILLY: What will be the next tax increase proposal after this one? Who will benefit? What article or report could I read that would convince me that another tax increase is good?
BARBWIRE: The Guinn-Hunt study proves that both liberals and conservatives are right. Gambling does not pay its fair share for the growth it causes. By creating low-wage jobs, it forces government expansion and becomes a corporate welfare queen.
You're not too old to learn. Gambling is the reason you're aggrieved, but you defend your oppressor. When the victim rationalizes his abuser's actions, that's called co-dependency. You're in denial.
BILLY: My property tax has doubled during the eight years I've lived in my home. Every other tax that I pay is threatening an increase.
BARBWIRE: Counties have few other options besides property taxes because that's how our company-town legislature stacked the deck. Read the freakin' study! Supporting Sen. Joe Neal's initiative petition to raise the gross gaming tax on the big casinos will reduce the pressures on counties to hike property taxes.
BILLY: In my 62 years I have not experienced a good tax increase.
BARBWIRE: You were born right about the time Social Security was started. That was a tax increase, and levies supporting it have increased since. Do you participate? Will you accept payments? What about the taxes that built President Eisenhower's "defense interstate freeway system?" Ever use a freeway or products delivered on one?
As you will note in the Barlett/Steele book, the largest tax increase in history, by far, was the one which paid for WWII. Would you categorize that one as a good tax increase in your lifetime?
Stop listening to Lush Rambo.
BILLY: YOU need to listen to Rush Limbaugh. (And Michael Reagan, Ollie North, Alan Keyes, Mark Davis, Bob Grant, and Ken Hamblin)!!!!!! I have learned that I can never convert a Liberal.
BARBWIRE: I bet you can't even define "liberal" and "conservative."
BILLY: You are right, FDR did raise the top income tax rate to 90%.
Another Democrat success story I expect. He also forced us into the war. Remedied the depression. Still don't see how raising the gaming tax will help casino employees. I've had my taxes raised numerous times, never helped me or anyone that I knew around me.
There will always be low achievers and folks with little or no ambition. How should they be rewarded for that? A government check, and a larger government check? Tax me for that? Of course you want to, but I don't want to participate. Not only that, they get a larger reward for procreating more low achievers. I expect that you support that too. AND YES I have involuntarily participated in PAYING SS and Medicare taxes. No thank you.
SIGH. What disappoints me most is that Billy not only ignored answering tough questions, but refused to read anything which might puncture his prejudices.
Billy proves that brain tissue is like muscle: use it or lose it.
Be well. Raise hell.
© Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of U-News, where the past three years of columns may be accessed. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988 where an earlier version of this column appeared on 1/16/00.
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