Liberals and Taxes

I was recently in conversation with a coworker, an avowed liberal, who owns two homes, one in Santa Cruz Mountains and the other in rural Connecticut, and listening to her complaints about taxation–I love it when liberals, not seeing the irony, complain about their tax bills in California!

Along that line is an article from Forbes magazine entitled, “Self Righteous Starbucks Forced to Chug a Venti of Greedy Government.” 

Kyle Smith is the author and columnist for the New York Post, and can be found on Twitter at @rkylesmith.

My friends know me as a Starbucks addict, an early adopter, a Gold Card member, and a recognized regular at multiple locations.  I have great customer-service stories I can recount about Starbucks, especially in the early years.

Not lost on me however is the company’s efforts to be a good corporate citizen.  They are very much committed to green and fair trade issues, safe to say a “liberal conscience” in the boardroom.

About five years ago they were tripped up in local SF planning meetings in an effort to build a store in an area that already had some established local coffee shops.  Their application was rejected–such a blatant example of “local protectionism” of which only San Francisco could be proud, but I digress.

They chose to back away with little or no fight, presumably in order not to be seen as a rogue or cowboy corporation of evil intent, beating up on those poor little local coffee roasters.

Even with all that, they are hoist in the petard of liberal politics in Britain.  Apparently, though they legally paid no taxes, it’s somehow immoral to follow the tax law.  Quoting Smith,

…the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has vowed to spend 10 billion pounds to clamp down on such …licit behavior.

It’s a political shakedown, an extortion process that would make Jesse Jackson envious, as his Rainbow Coalition was famous for such behavior.  Chicago politics anyone?

I saw Ralph Nader (who is looking closer and closer to the namesake of the movie, “Weekend at Bernie’s”) on Neil Cavuto recently.  He was excoriating US corporations who were using tax laws and offshore havens to legally avoid US taxation, and accusing them of lack of “corporate patriotism.”

OMG!  Are we returning to the days of Woodrow Wilson, and the tired shibboleths of the Roosevelt administration?  On the heels of an Obama re-election, those of us who believe in freedom and free markets certainly face a daily tidal wave of economic and political demagoguery.

Political demogoguery seems de riguer; it’s the economic variety that we should be most capable of combating, and are seldom bereft of such challenges.

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