Jonah Goldberg admires the gaping chasm between democrats’ expressed enthusiam for paying taxes and their actual personal behavior in some recent examples in the news.
During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden insisted that paying your taxes is a patriotic duty. No, scratch that. He said that supporting a tax hike was the American thing to do. “It’s time to be patriotic,” he told America’s putative tax slackers. When asked whether he might be questioning the patriotism of people who don’t want higher taxes, Biden, as is his wont, took things to the next rhetorical level. Forget patriotism, insisted Joe, paying higher taxes is a religious obligation.
The man who gave an average of $369 a year to charity over the previous decade fulfills his religious obligations by cutting a tax check — a check he’s required to cut by law.
Now it’s always perilous to take Biden’s statements too seriously, but it does seem eminently fair to say that his comments reflect a common, if not universal, attitude among Democrats. Taxes aren’t a “necessary evil” so much as a joyous affirmation of the possibilities of government and the lifeblood of a more hopeful society. “Taxes are what you pay to be an American” — like “membership fees,” says Democratic language guru George Lakoff.