03/15/2004: "Thanks, Rush!"
The connection between contributions and tax policy is not lost on Right Wingers. Why else would they be pushing ever-larger tax cuts far past the point of rationality? Itís their primary edge over the other Party for fundraising, and in our electoral system an edge on fundraising translates directly into an edge in votes. An edge in votes translates into being able to harness the mighty power of the US government to achieve your ends. The numbers behind Big-C Conservative fiscal policy are so telling that Iíve come to find it simpler to think of modern Republicanism not as political party but as a massive yet perfectly legal tax sheltering scheme. The wealthy Republican political contributors that make up the overwhelming percentage of the Partyís financial base provide money to political candidates who then pull out all the stops to make sure this money is returned, with dividends, to the people providing it. By the way, I have to give Rush Limbaugh credit for this idea. With nothing else on the radio, I was listening to his show one day and heard him rant on about how the Democrats werenít really a party so much as a scheme for funneling money to special interests. I thought this was something of a stretch, given that there is nothing that contributors to Democratic causes have to gain from such a funneling. Then suddenly I got a great flash of insight. I realized that the comment worked so much better for Republicans, where everyone who votes Republican has at least some anticipation of a tax payoff. This is true whether or not they even want a tax payoff (i.e., whether they are a Big-Conservative or a Moderate). So thanks, Rush!