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My Rebuttal to Roger Rabbit's Rants

Friday, January 26, 2007

A few posts ago, I lifted a couple quotes from another website to help flesh out an idea that I wanted to explore. Two commenters (Roger Rabbit and Wally the talking Badger) put forth the argument that everyone should pay their "fair share" when it comes to taxes. I guess Roger Rabbit took my observation that he's a high-volume commenter on and my quoting him as a personal attack on his character and proceeded to F-bomb and belittle me and my political viewpoints (see here and here). Roger Rabbit further urged those reading his comments about me to discount everything I said because he thinks that I believe Washington State squanders money on education (and I misspelled a word or two). That is not what I said at all. What I said was that governments generally are large, inefficient and wasteful creations of men, and there's no reason to believe that a new stream of revenue would be spent any differently.

I must admit that I wasn't familiar with I believe I met the creator/owner of the site one day when he stopped by a print shop next door to where I work. Heck, he may even be one of my customers... I don't know. I commented on some material he had printed up displaying the logo on it and was told that it was a web site for liberals. This, as I recall, was several years ago. Being unfamiliar with what actually was, I looked at the banners, ads, posts, and comments on the web site to determine what Goldy's politics were. What I was trying to avoid was jumping to conclusions about Goldy's politics or pigeonholing him as a run-of-the-mill Washington liberal. For this careful observation of facts, my powers of deduction were belittled by Roger Rabbit's assertion that I must be a "Rocket Scientist."

He contends that my personal attack on him was had by my accusing him of being a "professional commenter." He does not, however, continue to quote me when I qualified my statement by stating, "Of the 66 post registered at the time of this writing, he had 29." That, to me, indicates someone who's (<--spelled correctly this time, Roger) serious about his commenting. So serious that he's taken it as his personal duty as a good American to shout down anything that "wingnuts" like myself bring to the conversation. It was with this excessive commenting that I concluded that Roger Rabbit may have really been Goldy in disguise... or he simply liked to argue. Since then, I've discovered by Roger Rabbit's own admission that he's a lawyer. Now we know which conclusion was the correct one, but I really don't consider this act of reasoning as a personal affront to Roger Rabbit.

Roger Rabbit then quotes me quoting him, but completely changes the topic for which I quoted him. I drew attention to his and Wally the talking Badger's comments to show where liberals often support their argument to raise taxes by relying on the ambiguous concept of "paying your fair share." Roger Rabbit, with the aid of some careful omissions, changed the context of my words around to make it look like libertarians want to "PRIVATIZE everything under the f**king sun." That is not what I said at all. As a matter of fact, here's exactly what I said:

"[Wally the talking Badger] obviously doesn't understand that individual responsibility means not standing in front of government with your hand out looking for taxpayer-funded freebees. Libertarians aren't opposed to paying taxes; they only want to pay for the services they use. And what they do pay over they want used in the most efficient way possible. Remember: small government=good; no government=better."

Again, my words are clear and precise: being responsible for yourself is not demanding welfare from the state. Paying one's taxes is a necessary evil in keeping a civilized society's machine running. However, libertarians, and I would suspect most any reasonable person, would prefer their government spend taxpayer funds in the most efficient way possible. Libertarians happen to believe that one of the best ways this is realized is with the smallest governing body possible. What's wrong with that?

From there, Roger Rabbit launched into a quasi-straw man attack on my "fair share" question. He complains that on the one hand wingnuts, like myself, don't mind paying 10% of their income to their church of choice but on the other "bitch" about paying the same to the state in taxes. He completely disregards the fact that the former church tithing example would be a voluntary act while the latter would not. Furthermore, the church isn't going to show up on your doorstep dressed in SWAT gear demanding their "fair share," threatening to throw you in jail if you don't comply. They're totally dissimilar situations and Roger Rabbit knows it (I hope). Moot point; next!

If Roger Rabbit really wanted to "work with me" as he claimed then he'd leave the character assassinations aside, untie me from his whipping post, and just answer my question in a civilized manner. But there's no sport in that, is there? He's not content unless he feels he has properly denigrated me, my family, my state (Washington), my education, and my political beliefs. Not until this goal is fully achieved will he let it rest. But he did answer my question, whether he meant to or not:

"If this guy is paying only 10% of his personal income to government, we need to look into that. Why should he get away with that, when the rest of us are paying between a third and 40% of our income to government?"

For one thing, I never said how much of my income was taken by the government in taxes. You made that assumption yourself when you were tearing me a new one. Secondly, nobody "get[s] away with" anything when it comes to taxation. At its root, all taxation is nothing more than theft by force. It's really you and your ilk making the determination of what "fair" should be when it comes to taxation, isn't it. If someone has more than you think they should, you whip the electorate up into a frenzied mob which then demands laws that strip the wealth from those who have it so that you can give it to those you determine deserve it more. You, sir, come off as a mini-tyrant who's pissed off at the world because some people have more than what you've decided should be allowed and will not be content until the state owns everything while the private citizens have nothing. You, sir, will not be satisfied until everyone is equal, equality being whatever you think it should be.

By your comment, "we need to look into that", I'm left with the impression that you interpret the "fair share" concept to be whatever you, and you alone, determine it to be.

Thank you, again, for answering my question. Roger Rabbit, if you decide to respond to this post, please do so by (a) showing some maturity by refraining from personal attacks and flame wars in your discourse with me, and (b) posting your comments here, not on some other web site where I have to go hunting for them.

P.S. Please try to ignore any spelling and/or grammar mistakes.


Blogger Mark said...

In my experience, both left- and right-wing web sites show little respect for opposing views. For the most part, they are simply dismissed and the proponent is personally attacked for holding them. Logical argument quickly turns into name-calling. So I wouldn't get upset if I ventured into leftie or rightie territory and got personally attacked. That's what those folks generally do. They're not interested in examining their views, only in spewing them. Forget about it.

9:41 AM  

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