The tooth dairy will cure our state budget woes

Forrest Johnson

Everybody wants a tax cut. Small business owners want a tax cut even though that means we can’t fix the roads that lead to the small businesses. People saving for college educations want a tax cut even though tax cuts make college more expensive. Child care customers want a tax cut even though tax cuts cut into subsidies for child care. Cigarette smokers want a tax cut even though, well, even though cigarettes are bad for you.
Everyone wants a tax cut. The above-mentioned constituents were herded to a press conference the other day to plead with the governor to pass the budget bill that included a host of tax cuts but also left out the spending and bonding needs for infrastructure the governor requested. Any final budget bill that finds its way through a special session will include those tax cuts, don’t you worry, but it might also contain language that means we may have a longer term fix for so many of the issues everyone agrees need to be fixed. You know, stuff like roads and bridges and water treatment plants and other public infrastructure all parties have identified but just can’t agree on how to fund.
I just happened to notice the other day another bunch of school districts are in the hole and need to cut, cut, cut to balance budgets. The requisite statements about keeping the cuts as far away from possible from students and classrooms were offered but cuts to education are cuts to education. Funny how we debate ad nauseum about how our kids are the future and we need to prepare them well for a new global world and yet year after year we find budget deficits the norm and we see American students falling a little further behind students in industrial and developing nations alike. It all just speaks to the fact that we don’t want to share the wealth and pay for what we have. We just want it all and tax cuts too.
Ever since I was a kid it seemed like an irony to me that we have all this stuff across the nation, roads and schools and national parks and all the things we share as a society and we just don’t think it’s fair that we have to pay for those things. As my dad once said, “Who do they think is going to pay for everything, the tooth fairy?”
So here I am a year after my 90 year-old dad passed asking the same question.
Who do they think will pay for everything, the tooth fairy?
Seems like a great question if you ask me.
The New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP), formerly the Republicans, apparently believe the tooth fairy is real and that all you have to do is look under the pillow for the dollars. Don’t raise taxes but look under the pillow and grab the cash that has obviously been put there by the tooth fairy. That’s what a capitalist democracy (the Economocracy) will provide. Don’t burden folks with taxes (a shared obligation by all to pay for what we use to keep things rolling along). No, just ask the tooth fairy for the cash and that’s all the more we need to debate the issue. It isn’t about politics when you have the tooth fairy on your side.
I’m kind of surprised the tooth fairy isn’t mentioned in the current budget that was fronted by the NCNP in the final moments of the 2016 legislative session. But the tooth fairy is what it amounts to when the ideological front of the NCNP insists that taxes are bad for business, bad for schools, bad for innovation, bad for just about everything that ails you in this society of 320 million people that struggles to share the wealth and pay for clean water and clean air and all the many things 320 million people share on a daily basis.
Seems odd that we want to pay less but get more. Kind of goes against the physics of a stable and civil society if you ask me. Pay less, get more. Sounds like a Walmart slogan, pay less, get more, which in the case of Walmart does seem to work on a corporate level with all the low-paid employees and cheap pants we all buy at the expense of the American textile industry. Cheap, cheap, cheap. We want cheap.
We can’t afford paid maternity leave, can’t afford to education, can’t afford health care, can’t afford pensions or retirement. Richest nation on Earth and we can’t afford those basic rights of humanity. Even though many other nations across the globe can afford those things, we can’t.
Not can’t, we won’t.      
Nope. Just get in line for the tax breaks as we try to find the money to fix our social fabric.
We’ve got the tooth fairy.