And in keeping with moonandserpent’s signs of the end times, here’s my contribution.

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/863

This article discusses Title VI, which funds area studies programs at higher-learning institutions throughout the country. Recently a law was passed based on the fear that area-studies programs and post-colonial theory are anti-american and unpatriotic. This law significantly endangers area-studies funding by making it possible for funding to be cut if a program is deemed “unamerican”.

From the article:
“According to the language of the bill, professors whose ideological principles may not support U.S. practices abroad can have their appointments terminated, any part of a course’s curriculum containing criticisms of U.S. foreign policy can be censored, and any course deemed entirely anti-American can be barred from ever being taught.”

No, I’m not kidding.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2003-11-13-taxrefunds-usat_x.htm

This is about the new tax refund, which will increase our deficit by about $100 billion. But that’s not the scary part. The scary part is who gets the money. Apparently in this country it pays (literally) to be heterosexual, married, and popping out kids.

These “laws” are how political systems control the behavior, beliefs and morality of people. And though I may be deemed unpatriotic for saying so, these laws do not conform to my idea of what should be legal in the United States.

“La liberte est le droit de faire tout ce que les lois permettant.”
(Liberty is the right to do all that the law permits)
— Montesquieu

Don’t let this keep happening to our country.

Vote.

React actively and vocally.

Care.

And whatever you do, don’t give up or give in.

That’s when banality wins.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “

  1. You know I can’t keep quiet on this

    I’m down with Section One of your post. I had no idea, and that’s scary. Section Two is a whole ‘notha story.

    In all fairness…

    I oppose most parts of the tax bill (please see my post from 05-29-03, the only thing under “memories” under my info page.)

    However… married people had been getting SCREWED for the past dozens of years on our taxes. Marrieds got LESS back in previous years simply BECAUSE they are married. They’ve (thankfully) eliminated most (if not all) of the “marriage penalty” and thus, they are now getting what all the single folks have been getting since the beginning. They’re still getting less than the singles do, but it’s a lot closer than it was. I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s fair. They are not geting more because they are married. They are just no longer getting LESS because they are married.

    (If anything, non-traditional couples had it better before anyway, as they could each claim their own income separately.)

    And as for the child credit… the last time the deduction-raise came around for a child was YEARS ago (it had not been previously raised vs inflation or vs the CPI) and up until this year was only $600/child. Exactly what (in this day and age) does $600 provide a child? Not much. Even now, it’s only a $1000 deduction. This does NOT mean you get an extra $1000 back on your taxes, which is the common misconception. It just means they lower your gross personal taxable income by $1000. If you’re in the 25% tax bracket, it means the eligible potential for an extra $250 back on your taxes. Whoo-pee.

    They give the child credit to you whether or not you birthed the child. (Adopted kids count too!) They give the credit to whichever parent has primary care of the child, regardless of age, race, sex, sexuality, or religion. It discontinues when the child becomes of legal majority. (And if your child was 16 least year, you will NOT get the extra $600 credit.)

    Good discussion, though. Can we keep this up?

    mE

    • Re: You know I can’t keep quiet on this

      I understand this, but as you point out, these issues have been going on for a long time, and are perhaps only a few of *many* deeply entrenched problems with our tax system.

      However, I don’t think that the Bush administration’s intent in creating this refund has anything to do with redressing these problems or the many others that exist. My argument and my issue with this refund has more to do with the way the current refund is structured to benefit particular groups that fall very in line with the moral and behavioral standards that this administration has been trying to establish for the American public.

      As the article notes, this move is designed not to redress the tax system but to fix the economy and to garner votes. I have my reservations regarding the effectiveness of this to fix the economy. I’ve only dabbled in economics (other than Marxist theory, which I have a little better grounding in), so perhaps you could explain their reasoning to me.

      Right now it seems there is a rising anxiety about the state of the economy and this administration’s ability to address it. The way that this administration proposes to address this (since their wars aren’t working, which of course they wouldn’t because wars aren’t supplied or fought in the way they were during WWII. Duh.) is to inflate the deficit by approximately $1 billion (33%-ish?) to give a bunch of middle-class marrieds (who are more likely to vote) about $1000 extra each. The hope is that with this extra cash they will be more induced to spend.

      But this doesn’t really address the growing anxiety about the economic state of our country (in fact, by increasing the deficit, anxiety is increased), and when people are anxious about money, it seems that they might be less willing to spend than more.

      So, of course it seems to me that what this is mainly about is an attempt to create a picture of the Bush administration as one who supports certain moral and behavioral choices, in order to garner votes. In doing so, they create an approved and expected norm that marginalizes huge chunks of our population, and that reinforces those particular behaviors as normative, natural, and the proper status quo. It’s really this that I have the greatest problem with, because while Nation-States and their laws and institutions always construct what is proper normative behavior for their public, what we’re getting now is such a narrow and patriarchal set of expectations that it borders on (or skips happily across the border of) Fascism.

      If it were this instance alone, I might not take such strong issue with or notice of it, but there have been other similar legal actions and attempts, such as the the attempt to restrict welfare assistance to welfare mothers that are not married to the fathers of their children (and many others that I can supply you a list of with a little research to refresh my memory). It the conjunction of these things raise *my* anxiety.

      A state does not dissolve into Fascism on the basis of one act or law. It is little by little and small event by small event that what once seemed terrible and implausible comes to be seen as normal and reasonable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s