Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The many cramps of the Jindal tax plan

Do you ever read or hear something so stupid, that your brain cramps from trying to make sense of it?

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s tax proposal comes to mind. In a nutshell, it aims to eliminate all sales taxes, making up the lost revenue by increasing sales taxes on most items. My brain’s already cramping.

The plan is also supposed to be revenue-neutral, so it promises the same abnormally low level of tax revenue but the rich will pay even less of a share and the poor (of course) stand to get soaked. But still, it’s supposed to be better for all of us somehow. Ow, my head.

Oh, but the poorest people will supposedly get prebate checks or something like that to deal with the sudden, surging costs. You know, because conservatives hate red tape and government dependence. Anybody got an aspirin?

It’s especially awesome to hear Jindal defender Tim Barfield insist that businesses will bear the burden of the change, despite the plan supposedly being hailed as pro-business. (And what’s the common conservative refrain about businesses passing on costs to consumers?) I need an Alka-Seltzer, because now my stomach’s queasy too.

Some say Jindal’s plan, whatever its fate, is the latest page in his President Portfolio™. Because a nationally ridiculed figure intent on eroding the one fan base he does have has a surefire ticket to the White House. Bring on the Excedrin Migraine!

And then there’s Jeff Sadow. Wow. Might as well grab the Midol now.

Sadow’s piece on The Hayride aims to reframe the debate in a conservative perspective — in other words, through semantic distortion, half-truths and whatever the opposite is of what he calls “empty demagoguery.” (I’m guessing full demagoguery?)

I could spend all night and most of the next day parsing everything that’s wrong and terrible about his editorial, but my cocktail of anti-cramp medicines is already too heavy. Suffice to say, much of it can be summed up in one of Sadow’s sentences:

Too often forgotten by conservatives, at least among those who aren’t populists, is that the increased intellectual demands underpinning their philosophy make cognitive demands on many unfamiliar with its study that causes what appears obvious to its articulators not to be understood fully by those receivers.

(Go ahead, read that five more times. I’ll wait.)

Translation: If someone doesn’t grasp conservatism, it’s because their brains are too feeble to handle its majesty. That’s not your fault. Continue to write condescending and pretentious run-on sentences.

The whole article makes my head pound, and each throb makes it harder for me to think clearly about the tax plan. No wonder Jindal and his apologists seem so intent on bringing the pain.

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