Friday, August 24, 2007


"Tax and spend"

I know political slogans and attack-phrases are supposed to be meaningless and idiotic, but I've never really understood why "tax and spend" is supposed to carry such pejorative charge. Clearly taxing and spending is the very essence of government, and in so far as politics is a contest for control of the state all politicians, regardless of the level and types of taxing and spending they favour, are going to be intimately involved in the whole activity of forcibly extracting financial resources from people and allocating them to some end or another.

As I say, I'm aware it's naive of me to be puzzled when a widely-used slogan turns out to be intellectually incoherent, but this one has always seemed especially meaningless (and possibly ineffective) when compared even with other examples, such as "soft on crime", that could plausibly be thrown at left-liberal types like myself.

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