Monday, March 28, 2011

Banzai patriotism

By Capt. Fogg

There are all kinds of patriotism, some real, some pretended. With some countries it's mostly about supporting wars. It's been that way in most of my lifetime, with a few exceptions. With some people it's all about flags and pins and ceremonies. I'm straining to think of a time when it was seen as a reason to support a government you didn't vote for and I have to look back over 65 years ago to find a time when patriotism extended to making economic sacrifices in times of crisis, for the good of the country; for the good of the people. To me, Patriotism may once have meant something more than overgrown and somewhat pugnacious pride and militaristic ritual and it may once not have smelled so much of covert self-interest, but there are outside examples.

If it had been an American nuclear power plant destroyed by a natural event or anything of that magnitude, like a war, or flood or ecological disaster for example, I'd not expect to hear the party of big business or the mega-corporations that pay virtually no taxes anyway offer to suspend another round of corporate tax cuts. Yet that's what seems to be happening in Japan. The Japan Business Federation is a powerful corporate lobby -- sort of like the GOP. Its chairman, Hiromasa Yonekura says he will not stand in the government's way if it backs away from a proposed corporate tax cut.
"I don't mind if the government skips cutting the corporate tax rate," said Yonekura, who is also chairman of Sumitomo Chemical . "Instead I want the government to move swiftly in its recovery efforts."

I don't think I have to waste much space comparing Japan to the country that stood behind tax cuts and against paying off the enormous costs of war by taxing those who made the most money from it -- and challenged the patriotism of anyone who suggested it wasn't a good idea because tax cuts never have and never will pay for themselves -- so I won't.


d nova said...

as i recall, when the marginal tax rate was high nobody ever complained the federal deficit was too high....

d nova said...

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
—George Bernard Shaw

Capt. Fogg said...

I seem to remember grumbling about the debt under Eisenhower, but back then we were paying it down by taxing those who made money out of the war. These days Daddy Warbucks doesn't pay anything.

Since then we grumble under Democrats who tend to raise it less than Republicans and ignore it when people like Reagan are at the helm.