Editorial: Raise Taxes to Pay for SE Asia Tsunami Aid

taxesEvery so often, I get a clear view of why the right really loathes liberals. It usually boils down to saying the stupidest shit at the wrong time about things they don’t really grasp (ok, right-wingers do that too but that’s a whole other post).

Well here’s one of those swell ideas: let’s prove to the world how generous we are by squeezing the money out of taxpayers. The offender, Robert Rivkin, outlines this beau of a plan in his editorial, Tsunami Disaster Relief: How America Can Prove It’s Not ‘Stingy’:

Here’s a simple proposal that would capture the world’s attention, and which a majority of Americans would almost certainly support. President Bush should announce that because of the colossal losses suffered by millions of people in Southeast Asia and East Africa, he will make an exception to his promise not to raise taxes. Bush should propose a Tsunami Disaster Relief Surtax for 2004 and 2005, with very simple components that everyone can understand.

For example, the president could propose a flat $50 surtax applicable to every American tax return with an adjusted gross income of between $25,000 and $40,000; a flat $75 surtax on every tax return with an adjusted gross income between $40,000 and $80,000; $100 for incomes over $80,000, and so on. This small assessment for two years would produce many billions of dollars, which could be placed into a fund which would support infrastructure repair and development over a period of at least 10 years in the stricken countries.

HOORAY FOR FORCED CHARITY! Even though there is already a bloated government agency — US AID — that helps countries in need around the world, the idea here is to make sure money is forcefully flowing out of the US at a phenomenal rate through taxation. Forget the fact that the American Red Cross has already received $3 million dollars in under 24 hours via Amazon alone (though even the Red Cross is known to fuck up donations in times of crisis [via]). Forget that we’re already generous and contribute billions a year to charities. No, clearly the fucking government must be involved somehow to “prove” to the world that we are generous. Fuck that shit, if I want to give money to help these people, I sure as hell don’t want Uncle Sam coming at me with another stupid tax hike.

And of course, this is another jackass who’s trying to play political football with a natural disaster, and he’s free to stick a palm frond where the sun don’t shine.

UPDATE: Even Apple is acting as a donation enabler — revamping their homepage to help people find a charity to give to. Like I said, America mobilizes in times of need, we don’t require the government to do the legwork for us. [via MeFi]

ANOTHER UPDATE: And this is a right-winger using the opportunity to snipe at liberals from his lofty perch (“[A]s with every such act of national charity, our altruistic efforts have been rewarded with a fit of ingratitude from the Hate America Left.”). The tsunami disaster is indeed becoming a political football. Let me put it this way: since non-government organizations make up the bulk of foreign aid, why do we still have a marginalized government agency that sends a paltry $35M in the first place? I’m not deriding the US for doing it, but it’s clear that NGOs are going to dwarf that.

YET ANOTHER: US corporations are big donors. $35M from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson with $2M and supplies, J.P. Morgan Chase with $3M and employee matching, FedEx coordinating shipping. Who needs the government orgs with outpouring like this? CNN has a more detailed list.

3 Comments
  1. Attacking Foreign Aid Doesn’t Help Us!
    If we’re looking at advancing libertarian goals, however, shouldn’t we focus on ending government funding of bad things? Whether you agree or disagree with governmental foreign aid, most of us can agree that helping people is a good thing.