The Ignorance of Eugene Robinson
I just finished reading a snippet of a Eugene Robinson article in which he laments evil conservatives for wanting to deny federal aid to states to keep public employees on the payroll. He doesn’t seem to understand several points, a) it is not the federal government’s responsibility to fund state and local public services and public employees, b) it is not the responsibility of one states’ taxpayers to be forced to pay for the state and local services of another states’ taxpayers, and c) if the federal government would tax us at a lower rate, then the states would have the ability to raise their own tax rates to pay for their own services. Taxpayers will only accept a certain level of taxation before leaving their states or punishing politicians at the polls so the states are very limited in how high they can realistically raise their rates without damaging their economies. Their major problem is that the federal government is crowding out the states’ ability to raise enough revenue for themselves thus making them increasingly dependent on federal handouts. In an ideal federalist system we would have a low rate of federal taxation so that the federal government can fund the limited activities for which it is actually constitutionally authorized while the states would have higher rates of taxation to take care of state and local needs. If the residents of states and localities want to keep firefighters, police, and teachers employed then they will find a way to do so with state and/or local funds. If they are unable or unwilling to do so then those employees should lose their jobs. It’s harsh but it’s reality and Eugene needs to relearn federalism and basic economics. His Leftist vision of ‘fairness’ is one reason we’re in such financial dire straits. The Left is simply unwilling to accept that there is a limited amount of money that can be confiscated from taxpayers.