Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Liberals and Taxes

Well, the residents of Denver just voted affirmatively on nine different ballot initiatives, all of which were tax increases or bond projects. Mayor Hickenlooper very visibly pushed for all of them, and people followed his lead, and his approval ratings will probably go even higher.

Conservatives often stereotype liberals as actually enjoying taxation. But is there some truth to this? It's one thing to tolerate a level of taxation, but to actually vote to tax yourself? Why would people do this?

I can't be the first person to think along these lines, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that liberals actually believe in government. As a result, they believe they are buying something when they are taxed. In Denver's case, they were buying some civic building maintenance, new libraries, and recreation centers. And it's no secret that buying something can make you feel good. I felt really good the day I bought my house. I still feel good about it, although I take no pleasure in paying the mortgage. Maybe it's the same with taxes: liberals feel good about buying government. Not government for the sake of government, but particular policies they think will help.

Conservatives, of course, distrust government and feel that their tax dollars will either be misspent or spent inefficiently. Therefore when the government takes that money from them, it's a theft, not a purchase.

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