"The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." George W. Bush, 8/9/04Alright, lets get some things out of the way first. Let's put aside the classic argument between Liberals and Conservatives about taxing the rich. I'm not going to get into the economics of it, though Reagan's "Trickle-Down Economics" theory seems to have died the death of all bad theories. In the end, I still believe that some of the taxation burden should be shifted from the lower and middle classes to the rich, but I'm going to leave the particulars of this argument to the economists.
"And in my budget, I proposed a 10.7 percent increase to make sure that tax cheaters are found, make sure the IRS gets after those who don't pay taxes; make sure that the system is fair for those of us who do pay taxes. We want everybody paying their fair share. If I'm going to pay it, I want somebody else to pay it, too, if they're obligated to pay." George W. Bush, 4/15/2004
Let's also put aside the stark contrast between the two statements. The second quote is from a Tax Day photo op to reinforce that piddly tax break that most Americans received. He said this particular statement in order to push some exciting, crime fighting language into something as boring as taxes. The end result is that it's yet another flip-flop by the man who seems obsessed with them in other people but completely ignorant of his own. In other words, business as usual.
Instead, let's focus solely on the first statement. For a man who talks a lot about character, is this the message he really wants to put across to people? If this logic were applied elsewhere, then it calls into question his commitment to American security. I mean, once upon a time, terrorists on planes carried guns and hijacked them in midair or on the tarmac. Security was put into place to make sure guns are kept off of the planes. So the terrorists took flight lessons and brought $5.00 boxcutters on board and achieved the exact devastation they wanted.
If we were to place this analysis in the Dubya Rationalmatic 2000 (patent pending), then we would get this statement: "The really devoted terrorists figure out how to dodge security anyway." Short version: Because criminals are persistent, law enforcement shouldn't put forth the effort to stop them.
I mean, there have been numerous arguments by Republicans about not taxing the rich: The rich are already overtaxed, Taxes across the board should be lowered, It discourages small business growth and so on. All of these points can be discussed in a rational matter. But telling people that there's no point because they'll weasel out of it anyway is an incredibly childish and lazy position.
I can only surmise that the Bush campaign has finally gone off its rocker. Perhaps the best thing that comes from this quote is the opportunity for voters to respond with questions such as this: "OK, you don't feel the need to pursue law breakers. So...what are we paying you for again?"