Ok, so this is my response to this thing that’s been passed around Facebook for the past few months. The original says, “Remember When Teachers, Public Employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS Crashed The Stock Market, Wiped Out Half Of Our 401Ks, Took Trillions In Taxpayer Funded Bail Outs, Spilled Oil In The Gulf Of Mexico, Gave Themselves Billions In Bonuses, And Paid No Taxes? Yeah, Me Neither… Pass It On.”
My first response was, “Well yes, as a matter of fact, I do remember when Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS didn’t pay taxes.” But that sorta misses the point. I suppose the message here is that those nasty teabaggers and other fiscally conservative-types are demonizing these wonderful institutions while corporations are running rampant and ruining the country (nevermind that it was the corporate bailouts and crony capitalism that sparked the whole tea party movement in the first place).
My real issue with the meme is that it is a textbook example of a straw man argument. Nobody on the other side is accusing teachers, etc. of these sorts of awful things. All that is being called for is a little budgetary restraint. Is asking public employees to tighten their belts (like everyone else in the private sector already has) that horrible? Aren’t PBS, NPR and Planned Parenthood valuable enough institutions that they can survive without the small percentage of federal dollars they take in? Geesh. Lighten up lefties.