When it comes to “socialist snowplows”, tea partiers love them some Big Government

They hate it when you call them on their hypocrisy

Yesterday I posted a tweet that went pretty viral on Twitter and on Facebook. Anne worked her magic and, by the afternoon, it had become this meme which went even more viral:

Last evening, journalist E.J. Dionne retweeeted it (and again this morning). This caused all manner of self-described libertarians and other conservatives to leap up to say this didn’t make any sense, they didn’t get the joke, they don’t think all government is socialism, etc., etc. Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds feigned a lack of comprehension:

The faux outrage that I dare to mischaracterize their political views was comical. These are the same people that call for disaster aid to be withheld unless corresponding budget cuts are found. The same people who sign up for Grover Norquist’s “Government Bathtub Drowning Society” and sign his tax pledge ensuring that vital services are cut at nearly every level of government.

I would encourage these self-described patriots to come up to Michigan and drive on our roads. I know many people, myself included, who have had car damage as a result of hitting enormous potholes on our fine road system – damage that’s cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Meanwhile, the tea party legislators in our state House and Senate are completely incapable of coming up with any funding for road and bridge repair. That would require revenues that they don’t have after giving huge tax breaks to corporations while amassing a budget surplus.

This same group of legislators decries the “socialist” Affordable Care Act, an historic effort to “promote the general welfare” by ensuring that more Americans can get health care without going bankrupt and without forcing the rest of us to pay for it through inflated health care costs.

These conservatives and libertarians and tea partiers can all act outraged when they get their noses tweaked for their hypocrisy but the reality is that they DO see much of government spending as “socialist”. We see it on their signs. We see it on their websites. We hear their rhetoric all over the internet about “small government” and “free market” solutions. They love their plowed and salted streets but they don’t want to pay for it and they will demonize the union workers who do the hard work on their behalf as overpaid leeches on society.

But if that road isn’t plowed on schedule, you can be sure these “patriots” will be first in line to complain about the inefficiencies of government, even as they hold its head under water in the bathtub.

UPDATE: Via my pal Amy Hunter:

(Larger version of the comic HERE.)

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  • ChrisAndersen

    We’re talking about people for whom the adjective “government” is automatically presumed to be a negative. Their reasoning skills have atrophied on this point.

    • Zach Purnell

      Government is monopoly, and monopoly is viewed as a negative..

      • corsair82

        No, government is not monopoly. Government is supposed to be owned and run by us. Your tea party corporate backers (the Koch brothers, in case you’ve been asleep) and all the other corporate and special interests have been allowed to buy our legislators, judges, and executives. These folks are the real “monopoly” on power, but perhaps a better word is cartel. Join the non-partisan Represent.Us and do something about the corrupting influence of money in politics first. Then, when the playing field isn’t tilted in favor of those persons and organizations with the deepest coffers, we can have faith that the national conversation about the proper scope of government won’t be hijacked by those with hidden agendas and corrupt politicians in their pockets.

        • Zach Purnell

          Actually, monopoly is only possible through government. You’d have to study economics to understand, but I see you’re too busy making assumptions about me. Government is an outdated concept that came from people who think they were ordained by God to rule over others. We did our best to limit its power to suppress future growth, but it was to no avail. Government will always provide the engine by which corrupt people can increase their power. And since federal programs don’t allow market competition, government is always monopoly.

  • Jason Lane

    You do realize snow plows are a state tax and not a federal tax, right?

    • Brainwrap

      Which has what to do with anything again? Are you saying that you have no problem with taxes or public infrastructure spending to promote the general welfare as long as it’s at the state level instead of the federal level?

      • Jason Lane

        Your state taxes are pretty far from “big government” as the title would have people believe. Actually I never said I have a problem with socialism at all. However if OP likes his own tweet so much as to reblog about it, perhaps we should clear up the fore mentioned, first.

    • Nathan

      That’s a difference without a distinction. Whether taxed locally or federally, it’s still socialism.

      • Jason Lane

        The difference? Snow plows from the federal level would come equipped with cameras and cost the tax payers an extra couple mill.;)

        • Michiganmitch

          Is that why European-style government-run health care costs half as much per capita for superior outcomes, the extra cameras?

          • Jason Lane

            I guess it depends on if you had to go to the hospital for socialist snowplow related injuries or not?

          • Michiganmitch

            I guess when you have been devastated by your opponent’s argument, a lame attempt at humor is the only alternative left.

          • Zach Purnell

            Saying the Europeans have cheaper health care is implying that the problem with healthcare is the cost. Mandated insurance does nothing to address the reason for high costs

          • Michiganmitch

            Some of the actual reasons for the higher costs are an insurance system that has overhead of 30% or more due to the fact that the for profit nature seeks to enrich CEOs and stock holders, doctors making an average $200K/year which is double the OECD average, the archaic patent system that establishes drug monopolies allowing pharma products to be priced at 1,000 times production costs for years after roll-out, as well as the patenting system that allows for substantial over-pricing for medical equipment similar to inflated drug costs and the for profit hospital systems that monopolize the field as opposed to the old county hospitals that were into care rather than 5 star hotel-like accommodations with 4 star chefs making the food.

          • Zach Purnell

            Yes the patent system and the AMA and other government intrusions have given the US a century of medical fascism, yet the answer to these problems is complete government control? When has federal control every yielded positive results??

    • LarryEWells

      No Not really because every state also gets federal help on their road budgets .

    • Norbrook

      What do you have against private businesses or citizens doing it on their own? Socialist!

      • Michiganmitch

        The xtra cost that is often implied with a profit motive.

  • judyms9

    Counties and cities manage snow removal.
    Government provides necessary shared services that individuals cannot provide individually, but which we can afford collectively. The conservatives are not known for sharing, or caring.

  • Norbrook

    I used to live and run a business in a “low tax, small government” area, and where I really noted the difference between the “high tax, big government” state I used to (and now do) live in and that area was in snow removal. One day I was extremely late getting in to open up after a big snowstorm, and one of the people I knew twitted me about it. “I thought you said you grew up learning to drive in the winter in NY.” My response was “Yeah, but back there we have these things called plowing, salting,and sanding. This state doesn’t.”

  • LJ

    In our area the county gets revenue through gas (about 11 cents per gal) and wheel taxes among other things which are designated for road maintenance. This way everyone who uses roads participates in maintenance of the road. Now, if this was the Affordable Road Act, there would be a signup at the pump where those earning up to 3 times the poverty level would get a 10 cent subsidy and those making $200k would pay 35 cents per gallon. And if you are going to work, your employer could pitch in 10 cents as well. Now you really would have a socialist snow plow

  • LJ

    In our area the county gets revenue from gas taxes (about 11 cents per gal) and wheel taxes among other things designated for road maintenance. Generally speaking, if you use the road you will participate equitably in maintaining the road. Now if we had the Affordable Road Act, there would be a 3 bureaucrats at each gas pump. Those up to 3 times the poverty level would get a 10 cent subsidy and
    those making over $100k would pay 35 cents per gallon tax. Now you have your socialist snowplow. It was a cute picture and made me laugh but not quite apples to apples.

  • z–man

    Yes……a socialist snow plow…..designed, prototyped, developed and tested by socialist engineers, manufactured by a socialist corporation with raw materials and components supplied by other socialist corporations, sold by socialists to socialists for evil socialist profit, and operated by a socialist while burning socialist fuel from evil socialist oil companies!

  • z–man

    The meme is funny, but misses the mark. There’s a difference between the government services that we all pay taxes for, and “Socialism”.

    • concreteblue

      Do tell.

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