Friday, February 29, 2008

Screw the Children

If you were paying any attention at all during the Legislature's run up to the Great Anal Raping otherwise known as the "Transportation Bill" you may have noticed an old familiar trope trotted out and flogged to death.

The "children".

That is, when presented with the choice of taking a sane approach to infrastructure spending with a recession looming (bonding and reprioritization) or using the blunt and punitive instrument of taxation, you frequently heard members justify their absurd choice by citing their desire to avoid "passing the costs on to our children". For example, the Strib made use of this non-argument in the utterly predictable editorial it pooped out on Monday:

House Transportation Finance chair Bernie Leider, DFL-Crookston, the bill's House sponsor. The only World War II veteran still serving in the Legislature, Leider brought the conscience and values of the Greatest Generation to the transportation argument. A retired county roads engineer, he understood how critical the shortage of funds for highways and, particularly, bridges has become.

He wasn't about to let the boomers and Gen X-ers simply pass the problem to their children. "The Legislature caused this problem, because for the last 20 years we haven't been doing the job we should," Leider said yesterday.

Bullshit.

Why the hell shouldn't "our" children pay for these improvements? They will ultimately use them too. My kids are currently 3 and 6 years old, which means that in 13 and 10 years respectively, they will be making use of the same roads that I am paying for, but they are not.

Is that fair? Hell no. It's one of the reasons for bonding.

Putting aside the financial considerations of borrowing to make public capital improvements - like the time value of money, the discounted interest rate governmental entities can charge because of their bonds' tax-free status, and other things that liberals don't understand - as a practical matter, bonding by its nature represents a fairer distribution of costs than just attacking the current taxpayer in the butthole with a roto-rooter to pay off a project in one shot. Bonds typically work sort of like mortgages, where the government pays off the bonds over the course of time - usually anywhere from 10 to 30 years. This is fair, because it forces the younger generation to pay through the taxes they start paying (i.e. the gas tax) when they begin using some public improvement. But if you force me to pay for everything today, "our" children become a bunch of freeloading freeriders driving on a road for which they didn't pay.

This may be how Tics raise their children, but it is not a lesson that I want my kids to learn.

No, we need to stick "our" kids with their fair share of the bill. Especially those ugly fat emo kids and bratty little trust fund fucks from Wayzata who think money just magically appears out of the ether or their parents' wallets.

And why is it such a crime to make "our" children pay for these things? Did you know that the Federal government just recently stopped taxing us to pay for the Spanish American War?

The Spanish fucking American War!

I wasn't even alive for the Spanish American War. My grandfather wasn't alive during the Spanish American War. However, we have reaped the benefits. For example, we no longer have to worry about Spanish hegemony, and I have never known a world in which we were not safe from their dread Armada, or their fanatical Inquisition. In fact, while I'm glad the tax has been scuppered, I didn't mind paying my fair share to ensure that those damned Spanish were defeated a century ago.

So, to sum up, if you are one of these people who constantly cites their concern about passing on costs to "our children", please take your precious little trope, shove it up your butt, twist it sideways, poop it back out and then eat it. It's not like your left-wing heirs aren't going to try to raise their taxes too using the same lame rhetoric.

And to the kids: get off my lawn!

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