Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The politics of covid-19 start to bite

This is Joseph

This viral facebook post is excellent:
It's about making sure people can't file unemployment. It isn't about saving lives, certainly. It's not about the peak of the curve. I think lots of people are going to ignore the governor and stay home regardless. This isn't a decision being driven by epidemiology. It's the rawest and most lethal of political decisions, and it will kill people.
Kemp is looking forward to the fiscal discussion in 2021 and 2022, when all of this really starts to hit. He got elected by out-yahooing the field. His base has been trained to view government spending as a crime, and he knows that he becomes politically vulnerable to an attack if he raises taxes. He is not capable of delivering a nuanced message around necessity, because his base doesn't know how to hear it.
Georgians did the Kansas thing a couple of years ago and instituted a hard constitutional limit on income taxes of 6 percent. It cannot go higher without amending the state constitution. What that means is that there's no easy mechanism for the state to accommodate an extraordinary expense, like this, without somehow telling Republican reactionaries that they must raise taxes. 
I really do look forward to the day that the right-wing has ideas other than "cut taxes" and "taxes bad". It is not that anybody likes taxes. I don't like many things that are necessary: queues, licenses, car service visits, etc . . . But there is a real lack of any idea of how to respond to an emergency; imagine a war today with the fear that raising taxes might be needed to win.

That said, it is a pity there isn't a union of states that could raise revenue, float debt, and step in to mitigate the financial crisis.

1 comment:

  1. No need to imagine a war, we've had multiple. Although our problem tends to be having no idea what "winning" means or how to achieve it than taxation, we definitely have been wasting a ton of money.