Monday, March 28, 2011

Bob Herbert has left the New York Times

And in doing so has ended any hope I had for the venerable old rag.

But in his last column, he has pointed to this story.

It is just as unsurprising as it is unbelievable that this is not huge news. After decades of anti-tax rhetoric, it is hard to foment outrage when someone dodges taxes: precisely the goal of said rhetoric.

These men are criminals: their children go to our schools, they drive on our roads, their mail is delivered by our post, they enjoy all our freedoms and they give nothing back but the middle finger.

We must return to the rhetorical discussion of America as a democracy of the people, even as we know that reality gets further and further everyday.  We have to stress that these men don't steal from some shadowy "government", they steal from us, from every single responsible American who plans to pay their taxes this April, who has a child in school, who enjoys receiving mail, who is on unemployment because the colleagues of these men laid them off, who is on medicaid because they're too poorly paid or too old to work; they steal from the soldier in Iraq and the postal worker in Buloxi, the Detroit garbage man and the New York City sewer worker.   They steal from the woman sweeping clean the Lincoln Memorial and the public defender upholding its legacy; they steal from the San Fransisco tram driver, the Iowa corn farmer, the Texas roughneck and the Floridian retiree.  

These people are villains who are stealing right out of our pockets, and if we don't understand this there's no hope for us. It's time we ignited some populist rage, took it back from the right, and showed these men that stealing from us ends badly indeed.

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