Monday, April 21, 2014

A Triple-Foul

I’ve read that soon, print newspapers will be a thing of the past.

I know of one that few will miss: The Milwaukee Urinal-Journal Sentinel.

The reason that prompts me to make such a statement is that the only good thing about the paper is the local section.

Most of the editorials are predictable, even laughable.

Case in  point: the April 20th editorial regarding the soon-to-be new Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Corporation facility.

In the editorial, the Journal’s editorial board makes the argument that, since it’s a foregone conclusion that taxpayer money will be spent to fund a new arena (and maybe more), the community should step back, take a deep breath, and think about the big picture.

In their minds this means consideration for a number of other things, such as maybe some kind of museum, or stores, or whatever that ‘we’ might want to include in this new facility.

But not, for instance, any tie-in to mass transit. The Journal says that’s another conversation. I disagree.

Since it’s inevitable that public money is going to help the new millionaires who bought the team make even more money, and that it’s likely that this public money will come in the form of a sales tax, and that many of those who will end up paying this new sales tax use mass transit to go the low paying jobs that provide the income that will be taxed, providing improvements such as more routes into suburban industrial parks and the like should be at the forefront of the discussion, and is not ‘tangential’ as the board suggests.

Where are all the anti-tax conservatives? Why haven’t we heard the usual hew-and-cry from the Tea Partiers, Neocons, and the rest of the Rabid Right? Where’s Grover Norquist?

Norquist, he of the “No Tax Increase Pledge”, insinuated himself into the Volkswagen-UAW flap over the union’s effort to organize workers at the VW Tennessee plant, which had nothing to do with tax rates anyway. Where is this self-appointed slayer of bigger government, this Champion of the 'Leave Us Alone' mantra? Why doesn’t it bother him that the people of southeastern Wisconsin are about to be oppressed by a new layer of taxing-authority government?

I keep forgetting that people like Norquist don’t really care so much about taxes, what they care about I that their friends aren’t taxed. And since this new Bucks tax will be paid by those with little to no political clout whatsoever, all is fine.

It probably does irritate Norquist that the new owners have pledged $100M to help build the facility. Fools. Don’t they know they could get that money from taxes as well?

We have our own local version (kind of) of Norquist in the person of Christian Schneider, columnist for the above mentioned newspaper and avid Scott Walker lapdog. The only reason Schneider hasn’t gone batshit crazy over the impending new tax is because his LordMaster™ Scott Walker hasn't yet made an edict regarding the issue.

He does, however, find it within him to make such funny jokes about how the team could come up with the rest of the money for the facility without raising taxes. While Schneider’s column is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, it really is foot-in-mouth.

First, the math. While not meant to be realistic, they betray how the right thinks about people’s money. Not big corporations or the very rich, but regular people’s money. The numbers don’t reflect any sort of reality because they don’t need to. Not in the context of raising taxes for a new basketball temple or when lowering the tax rates on the very wealthy, which the not very wealthy at all end up paying so that the much-more wealthy can enjoy themselves during their much-more frequent downtime. The only thing that matters to Schneider or Norquist is that no one with money is going to have to pay anymore tax. King’s don’t pay taxes, their subjects do.

Once again, those on the right (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Grover Norquist, and Christian Schneider, in this case) demonstrate that they don’t have to actually live the values they proscribe for others, as long as the proletariat does.