Robert Novak, the very embodiment of oleaginous evil, had a chat with WaPo readers yesterday. His responses are predictably smug, self-serving, and nasty, and I'm sure someone else has the stomach to give them their due.
There is, however, a series of exchanges that neatly exemplifies up the poverty of Republican economic policy. First:
Toronto: Good afternoon. Why is there such an aversion to paying taxes among conservatives -- how else can a country maintain the infrastructure and services necessary for long-term prosperity?Ooh, snap! I never, ever heard anything that witty on a grade school playground.
Robert D. Novak: If you enjoy paying taxes so much, you're more than welcome to pick up mine as well. I think the Treasury would take a check from a Canadian.
But not witty enough; someone else isn't willing to let him off the hook yet:
Maryland: Actually the fellow from Toronto had a good question, which you didn't really answer. Why do you think that we can cut taxes and run a real war against terrorism at the same time? At some point, someone has to pay for the several trillion that we have spent on the war and will be spending in the future. Isn't it selfish and short-sighted to put that burden on our children and grandchildren when we can afford to pay the taxes to cover the war now, but just don't want to do so? You certainly can afford the taxes, but don't want to pay. It is just that simple.No, he doesn't have to answer the question because he knows it wasn't asked in good faith. Taxes are a binary function, you see: if you aren't against all taxes, ever, you're in favor of every tax, always (at an infinite tax rate).
Robert D. Novak: Let's be candid. People like you a) always want to raise taxes and b) want to use taxes to redistribute income.
And still, one last questioner gives it a try:
Re: Toronto and Maryland: You still aren't answering the question. How can the United States pay for the war on terror, as it is currently being fought, without raising taxes?Gosh, why didn't I think of that?
Robert D. Novak: By cutting all government spending.
Throw in the