03.31.2009 0

When the American Taxpayer Becomes a Nuisance

  • On: 04/02/2009 09:52:08
  • In: Taxes
  • By William Warren

    The Iowa state government ought to be reminded that the phrase “throw the bums out!” does NOT refer to the taxpayers.

    As the Des Moines Register reported on Tuesday, over 500 people were booted from a public hearing at the Iowa House after passionately voicing their outrage regarding proposed tax hikes. (Click here to watch the video.)

    With the assistance of Iowa State Patrol officers, House Speaker Pat Murphy (D-Dubuque) forced the protesting citizens out of the building after he had had enough of their catcalls and brickbats regarding the looming surge in their taxes.

    Once vacated, the House quietly carried on with the “public” hearing.

    In other words, the government was telling the taxpayers how they really feel.

    The legislation in contention would effectively prohibit Iowa residents from subtracting what they pay in federal income taxes from their own income when calculating their state taxes. Also known as federal deductibility, Iowans have long relied upon this critical provision when establishing their family budget. Such changes would mean Iowans would have to hand over roughly $595 million more to the government.

    And, like the Bostonian Tea-partiers of the past, these hundreds of hardworking citizens were fed up and wanted to be heard. Interestingly enough, for some reason, Democrats couldn’t rally many people in support of the tax-raising legislation for some reason.

    Granted, much like the laws against dumping boxes of tea overboard into the Boston Harbor, Iowa House rules do indeed state that no protesting or advocating is allowed. However, as eye-witness Art Smith writes in the Conservative Reader, the reports of “out of control” protestors are misleading:

    “It’s intriguing to see people mischaracterize the events in the House this evening. I was there. The very first speaker was roundly booed, and I’ll admit that was inappropriate. The public was warned. After that, no other speaker in favor of the bill received much more than a low murmur of opposition, and that was not worth talking about.

    The galleries were full of people who could not contain, however, their enthusiasm and support for the comments of those who actually made sense, spoke for Iowans and opposed the bill.”

    Reacting to the taxpayer jettisoning at the behest of Mr. Murphy and other government officials, Matt Strawn, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman, commented:

    “Never have I seen such a gross display of arrogance and disdain for Iowa taxpayers. The Iowa House is supposed to serve as the people’s house, the house where great ideas are debated and discussed.”

    And, of course, Mr. Strawn is right: the Iowa House should not treat the people like a mere nuisance to be discarded—regardless of the “public servants’” disdain for their erstwhile masters.

    The bottom line is this: the American taxpayer’s proper role is to be a nuisance. Government should never expect the people to roll over and drool complacency.

    The government is supposed to work for the people, not the other way around. Via taxes, the American people pay the government and THAT makes the American people the boss.

    So next time, the Iowa taxpayers should return the favor and “throw the [actual] bums out.” With the people like House Speaker Murphy and the rest of his Big Government cohorts out of the building, perhaps some real work will get accomplished.

    William Warren is a Contributing Editor of ALG News Bureau.

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