#rsrh Thought of the Day, Ace on Stupidity Taxes edition.

Not the lottery*, but the price of doing business with people whose vote inexplicably counts as much as yours does.  Ace of Spades, in the process of explaining why positions taken before a consensus changes need to be perhaps given a little forgiveness**:

I give Tim Pawlenty a break on his cap-and-tax nonsense, too, because, if you remember, a short five years ago it seemed like we were pretty much destined to lose completely on this fight. I didn’t (and still don’t, actually) mind a little window-dressing to let Environmental Saps think we’re really working on cars that run on sunshine and pixie-sweat.

I think of that as the Stupidity Tax — the tax we must all pay to the stupid to be left alone from their plodding economic manslaughter. Obviously you want to pay as little in Stupidity Tax as possible, but sometimes, your choice is really between a low-ish Stupidity Tax (offered by a Republican giving dumb squishes some window-dressing) and a very, very high Stupidity Tax (offered by idiotic liberals who really believe this crap).

Anyway, that situation, too, has changed quickly, and I am willing to grant Pawlenty forgiveness — a temporary insanity plea, if you will — so long as I never hear this crap coming from him again. (Except for some window-dressing Stupidity Tax.)

The problem, mind you, is that ‘Stupidity Tax’ has a different meaning to everybody who sees or reads it… and people can get a bit touchy when you use this to refer to their policy positions, which are clearly the most rational and internally consistent policy positions in the history of mankind.  Which is nonsense, because clearly my policy positions are the most rational and internally consistent policy positions in the history of mankind, and I know that none of my readers agree with me on those positions 100%.

More seriously: I know people get touchy on this subject – it’s often used as an euphemism for “Shut up, he explained” – so I won’t belabor it.

Moe Lane

*I think that a lot of people who criticize the lottery as a “stupidity tax” miss a point: for a lot of other people (and this includes me), gambling for money is kind of fun.  I mean, I don’t go to the casinos… ever, actually… but will I pay a buck for the rush of anticipation that comes from seeing an untouched scratch-off?  Sure, if I’ve got a buck in my pocket and I notice the scratch-off machine.  Guess it’s one of those things that looks weird if you’re not into it in the first place.

**This is, by the way, my position with Tim Pawlenty (who is currently my first pick), not to mention every other Republican running for President who was once willing to pander on cap-and-trade.  Which is, honestly, most of them.


  • Mikey NTH says:

    I’m shocked to find a politician pandering to what he thinks is the public opinion on a subject.

    (Hey! I’ve rolled my eyes so far back I can see my medulla oblongata!)

  • Skip says:

    I’m willing to cut politicians some slack on things like this, as long as they make it clear that they now believe that they were mistaken at the time, have a clear explanation, etc. For an example of how not to do this see Romney and RomneyCare. However when I see things like this I can pretty much assume that the person in question is not a principled conservative, but just someone who’s not hostile to the tenets and is willing to back them when it polls well, so I can pretty much only support them when conservative ideas are polling well.

    As for Pawlenty specifically, well, other than the incessant pushing by the Powerline guys, I don’t know that he was on anyone’s radar until recently. I don’t really know his positions on anything – I assume, as most people will, I think, that as a Republican governor in a blue state he’s a squish in a lot of areas. Maybe that’s wrong, and he’s shown a Reagan-ish ability to move the views of the folks voting for him to the right. But somehow I doubt it.

  • Finrod says:

    I’ve been known to throw $5 now and then at the big lotteries when the prize gets high enough; my rationale is that if I win the lottery, I can retire, losing however is only the difference between eating lunch today at McDonald’s and eating at Five Guys, say.

  • NickRobbins says:

    The one Drawback to Pawlenty that no one seems to pick up on: Wasn’t he a BIG McCain squish in 2008? You know a man by the company he keeps……

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Umm, NickRobbins, so what does say about you? I personally fought hard for McCain from the end of the primary on; and I knew that he was going to win about halfway through that primary. So you’ll understand where I might raise an eyebrow at the company that you’re keeping here…

  • countrydoc says:

    Finally someone agrees with me on the Lottery. Its fun! And that’s it. I spend a whole dollar about once a month. I usually don’t even check the ticket, much to my wife’s annoyance. I just like carrying it around and daydreaming what I’d do if I won the big jackpot. Pretty tame entertainment, all for the price of $1.

  • acat says:

    Danegeld rule applies, Moe. As in, once it becomes apparent that you’re willing to pay a stupid tax, get ready for a lot more stupids to line up for their handouts.

    Agree regarding Pawlenty. I’ve taken a more pragmatic approach to “green” – I’m a conservationist, not an environmentalist or a gaia-worshipper – so I’ll happily take the tax credit for windows and doors and a boiler that lower my energy bill. I don’t think I’ll be putting solar shingles on my roof just yet…


  • westie says:

    Tim Pawlenty a good candidate for this project:

    1) Weak president with solid Constitutional understanding
    2) House with Conservative/Libertarian Super majority
    3) Senate divided ~50/50, including better Senators.

    Objection is to start dismantling the Imperial Presidency while at the same time attack the deficit, rebuild the economy and stay out of foreign adventures for a start….anyone think this worthy?

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