Taxes can win war on terror | VailDaily.com
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Taxes can win war on terror

Matt Zalaznick

Fear, bombs and battle-fatigued cops with machine guns may be more exciting, but taxes also can be a useful tool in the war on terror. If taxes in this country are used as a weapon against the poor, why can’t they be used against al-Qaida? There will always be backward cavemen like Osama who will hate us for our equal rights, progress and quality of life. But we really do have to work on our reputation overseas. Taxes to help other nations develop and educate themselves can do more good more often than poorly planned invasions and laser-guided missiles that don’t always hit their targets.Instead of using our military to pound into their foreign heads the idea that American democracy is superior to their evil-doing form of government, why not help them get educated and realize for themselves how great free societies are? I can’t imagine we’ve won many Iraqis over to the American way with the gift of civil war. I can’t imagine Iraqi kids are now looking up to Uncle Sam and thanking him for making their town even more dangerous and unpleasant to live in than the wacko dictator who at least kept the electricity on. I think they’d be more likely to wave an American flag if we built a high-tech high school with high-speed Internet connection than when there’s a U.S. soldier standing at the end of their block in wrap-around sunglasses and body armor, and holding a machine gun that’s more expensive than their recently demolished home. The same politicians who scare us to death by invoking the “next Sept. 11” and mushroom clouds are the same who tend to threaten us with the “Mexican siege” on our jobs and social services to terrify us even more. They want us to worry about enemies and intruders, but they don’t want us to think about doing anything else to them than blowing them to bits or throwing them in jail. A lawyer and radio host I know brought this up in regards to the property tax increase that the Eagle County School District asking voters to approve. He noted how some people are opposed to the tax because they’re angry that some of those funds, if granted, could trickle down to the benefit of … illegal immigrants. Gasp!But my lawyer friend asked what’s so bad about that? Perhaps it’s in our interest to offer to educate our neighbors to the south even if they’re only going to spend a few years in Eagle County schools and then go home. Same thing goes for the child development tax that’s on the ballot. That’s another tax people have vilified by bringing up the grim specter of a few dollars going to help an … undocumented alien!These are the same people who like to rant and rave about what a corrupt, drug-drenched country is Mexico. So why do they refuse to help its citizens? It’s in our interest to help Mexican citizens take home not only wages but some of our ideals, too. That seems to be a much more effective way to protect our border than a fence that will do more to assuage Republican guilt over failed policies failures than keep aliens out. What does a fence say? It says nothing to the people who would come here illegally because they’ll just figure out other ways to come. First off, catapults. And there’s still the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. They’ll come by boat like so many other immigrants. All the fence says is America finds it southern neighbor repugnant. What a great marketing strategy for building up goodwill in Latin America. What we should be saying is we’ll give you the opportunity to come and work here and if you do, we’ll also take care of your children. So when these kids grow up, they have a fondness for the United States and aren’t interested in doing anything nasty to its citizens. Lots of Americans prefer to ignore how unpopular Uncle Sam is in so many parts of the world, and we can be arrogant enough to believe our unpopularity doesn’t matter. But remember how scared we were when our lousy image really mattered on Sept. 11. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com. Check out his blog at http://www.vaildaily.com/section/BLOGVail, Colorado


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