The Protection Racket

I found this story on tax exemptions for veterans a nice case study in the local politics centered on the mantra of “protecting seniors”. Board hears from veterans on tax exemption proposal

In short, providing an exemption to veterans will raise taxes on everyone else, even seniors. Of course, some seniors will benefit but many seniors will not so the non-veteran seniors will pay more. As it’s a favored talking point that any tax rise will drive seniors to lose their homes, you are left with the following scenarios:

1) Deny the veterans an exemption thereby undermining your logically incompatible concept that you can support both veterans and protect seniors with no negative impact on either

2) Approve the exemption to benefit veterans thereby, by those who embrace the talking point, showing that you really don’t care about seniors as you will force them to lose their homes

3) Demagogue and misinform on (1) and (2) by blaming kids who want resources for academics, sports and extracurriculars so you don’t have to admit that you cannot have it both ways. Of course, the fact that parents and kids are stakeholders too in the community should be dismissed as inconsequential in light of preserving the sacred talking point of “protecting seniors” or “protecting veterans”. We certainly don’t ever want to pursue policies that “protect kids”.

You betcha’ it will be option 3.

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