Taxation-Or Theft?

May 23rd, 2008

Lincoln Chafee's self-congratu latory account of his opposition to President Bush's tax cuts ("The Tax Cut That Neutered Congress," March/April) reminded me of my original home state's former governor, Lowell Weicker, who laughably got a Profiles in Courage Award for imposing an income tax on Connecticut for the first time.

The public is apparently still gullible enough to believe that when politicians like Chafee take our money away through taxation, the politicians are being brave and self-sacrificing. By contrast, Chafee calls the tax cut a "$1.6 trillion raid on the public purse." If not taxing people constitutes a raid on their purses, what on earth should we call taxing them—a complimentary fruit basket?

Chafee, in so adamantly opposing a tax cut that returns barely a twentieth of the governmental trough's contents to the people who earned it, is about as heroic as a pickpocket but far more obnoxious, since the pickpocket doesn't think he wears a halo. Nor does the pickpocket engage in amateur psychoanalysis of his enemies (as Chafee does of Bush) to explain their stubborn resistance to his thievery.

On the bright side, Weicker ended up being the only Connecticut governor in my lifetime to be burned in effigy, and Chafee's out of office, so some members of the public aren't impressed by their brand of "courage."

Todd Seavey '91
New York City

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Related Issue
May/June 2008