Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Importance of Choosing One's Analogy Carefully

Biden mentioned that it was patriotic to pay taxes. To an extent, that's right, in that one is paying one's dues for enjoying the benefits of living in this country. Palin, in a rather idiotic move, said that it wasn't. Though this certainly seemed a nod toward those who could afford to sock money away in tax shelters, this isn't the main point of my post. In a recent Bill Maher episode (the tenth of October), Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, in his defense of Palin's comment, brings up, of all things, the Boston Tea Party as support. The discussion in question starts at 4:00 in the clip below:

The big problem with using analogies is that, if one doesn't look at the details, one can shoot a bigger-than-yer-ass-sized hole in one's argument. As even Wikipedia will tell you, the main drive toward the Boston Tea Party was, yes, taxes, and lowering them. What Moore seems to forget is that the reason is found in that phrase we all likely learned in grade school: Taxation without representation. In this day and age, the ones waging their wars on taxation are the ones that get preferential representation. Corporations that relocate their headquarters off in Bermuda, for example (Quick question--where do you suppose Halliburton is located for tax purposes? It ain't Kansas, it's Dubai.) Moore says that Americans dumped the tea because Americans hate paying taxes. Moore, dude, for the general American, back then as it is today, it ain't the tax thing that got their dander up, it was that lack of representation bit.

Moore then has the gall to add, later in the clip, "Well, if paying taxes is so patriotic, then why don't they pay more taxes?" Sure, they can send it in by the bucketload, but what, sincerely would be the benefit for that? Who, might I ask, would benefit? Not fellow liberals, I don't believe, and certainly not the country.

No comments: