Politics What’s the Matter With Me?
posted by April 8 at 15:28 PMon
The same thing that’s the matter with me, as it turns out. Andoni at Citizen Crain makes a good point…
…I’m a Kansan, too. No, I don’t vote Republican for their social values, I vote Democratic for theirs. But voting Democratic for me also puts me in the same category of those Kansans we love to criticize. It goes against my economic self interest.
Let me explain. I’m retired and my entire income comes solely from capital gains. Thanks to George W. Bush’s tax cuts a few years ago, for the third year in a row, my final total federal tax rate is 15%—lower than Warren Buffet’s. The Democrats want to end this tax give away for the wealthy. McCain and the Republicans want to renew it. My economic interest would be to vote Republican to continue saving all this money in capital gains taxes—a very, very sweet deal.
However, social issues like gay rights are what more important to me than my own economic interests. As a result, I’ll be just like those Kansans I used to like to criticize so much. I’ll vote my “values” instead of my economic interest. Count me as irrational as those Kansans.
I’m certainly not retired, and I don’t live off capital gains as, er, I don’t really have any capital out there that doing any gaining. Me? I work hard for the money, so hard for it, honey. But… I have also benefited from the Bush tax cuts (not to the degree that Andoni here has), and yet I’m planning to vote against my economic interest and help—hopefully—to put a Democrat in the White House this coming January.
But I’m not voting Democratic despite my economic interests or, as I suspect is the case with many Kansans, in ignorance of my economic interest. Voting for the folks that want to raise my taxes is also in line with my “values.” I don’t just want to see a Democrat in the White House because I support Democratic social policies (choice, gay rights, health care for all—you know, freedom). I also hope to see a Democrat in the White House come November because I want to see the Bush tax cuts—which John McCain voted against and now says he supports making permanent—expire with along with the Bush administration.
Because people that benefit disproportionately in our society should pay higher taxes. Including me.