I think Republicans want to be cast as cartoon villains. In California, Republicans have twice prevented a Democratic measure (supported by Republican governor Schwarzenegger) that would fix a loophole that allows yacht owners to avoid paying their sales tax.
Really. Keep in mind this isn’t an additional tax (a luxury tax), but simply applying the same sales tax that most people who can’t afford yachts pay on other goods. Dday writes:
You have the Republican Party prioritizing the interests of yacht owners. Is there any better expression of the conservative movement in our new Gilded Age? Government must be limited, welfare must be limited, but the wealthy must get tax breaks and wealth must be distributed upwards. It’s worthless to even list their tired arguments (rich people would leave the state! We’ll bankrupt the yacht business! Uh, no.), but it’s crucial to understand why the Republicans think they can get away with this. After all, the constituency of yacht-owning tax cheats is relatively small, and the constituency of people who would be outraged at yacht-owning tax cheats is somewhat larger, even in supposedly Republican districts.
This is crux of the problem:
It is generally understood that the average citizen has been fed enough unanswered anti-tax and anti-government propaganda that they reflexively oppose taxes. (The operative word there is “unanswered.”) But this is a very different thing. This is a special exclusion, just for rich people, that one way or another has to be made up for by the rest of us! Why aren’t the people of California more upset about this?
The only conclusion I can reach is that the Republicans understand that regular people are not going to find out about this! And they may well be correct.
Try as we may, at some point active citizens can’t fill the ‘responsibility gap.’ We can’t mobilize for every issue. We have jobs, some of which are even important in their own way. There’s a reason we elect politicians to run the government: it’s a full time job. What the Democrats fail to comprehend (and dday notes this) is that they not only have to do the business of governing, they also have to do the business of promoting a party agenda by mobilizing their supporters. Republicans get this; the Democrats still do not.
At the very least, the professional Democrats have to stop denigrating those rank-and-file Democrats who are essentially giving them promotion for free*. Speaking of which, I leave you with this video by dday:
Seriously, tax loopholes for yacht owners? If a politician can’t make something of that, he or she needs to get out of politics.
*This is one of several reasons why the Democratic Party is the Stupidest Political Party in Recorded History™.