American politics are pretty easy to understand.
We have two parties, along a traditional left-right divide. One party wants to grow government and raise taxes, while the other party wants to shrink government and lower taxes.
See? Everything is remarkably simple.
Except for the fact that it is not. Though people think that American politics are straightforward, the reality is that the situation in the political realm today is more complicated than it has been in decades.
First and foremost, there is no such thing as a left-right divide in the United States. The divide is instead between government overreach and personal liberty, and there are members of both parties on each side of this divide.
Recently, Republicans in several states demonstrated this harsh reality by raising taxes.
From The New York Times:
Something strange has been happening to taxes in Republican-dominated states: They are going up.
Conservative lawmakers in Kansas, South Carolina and Tennessee have agreed to significant tax increases in recent weeks to meet demands for more revenue. They are challenging what has become an almost dogmatic belief for their party, and sharply diverging from President Trump as he pushes for what his administration has billed as the largest tax cut in at least a generation.
These policy changes are inexcusable.
Whenever a Republican wins an election, it is usually because he or she promised to lower taxes. No one likes paying taxes, and often people decide to vote for whichever candidate wants to get rid of them the most.
This is a fundamental value of the conservative movement. Conservatives want a smaller government, and the best way to get that is to limit tax revenue.
Why is it, then, that Republicans in deep-red stated are abandoning that principle?
It is for no reason other than the fact that American politics is not actually divided between left and right. Many on the right – social conservatives, military hawks, and so-called fiscal conservatives – want to see the government have m0re power. These lawmakers are perfect examples of those types of people.
To defend their tax increases, these fake conservatives say that their states needed the revenue to pay for more programs.
In response, I want to highlight the fact that a real conservative would not want to fund many of those programs in the first place. If welfare programs and infrastructure projects are making the state raise taxes, why not drastically reduce the costs of those programs instead?
It is a shame that more American politicians do not think that way, and it is a shame that Kansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee Republicans gave up on conservatism. We cannot let this keep happening.
Source: The New York Times