American democracy has historically been an effective two-party system. Each party was pushed by fringe groups and activists to the left and right, but each remained strong enough to actually get work done and sustain the system. Then came the radical right, whom reason cannot sway because reason is trumped by ideology. So now there is a great divide between the “tax-and-spend” liberals who are driving the country into debt and “small government” conservatives who want to reign in costs. The talk shows and news desks still use these definitions without critical comment from the reality sector. If there were critical fact-based comment, people would notice that under the “small government” conservatives, government grew by leaps and bounds. Also, they would see that the surplus that “tax-and-spend” liberals handed to cost-conscious conservatives was rendered — by conservatives — into a staggering deficit.
I am, for the record, a tax-and-spend liberal. I am liberal because I believe people are as they are, diverse to the point of individuality. And life is hard. So we need to accept, help, and support each other as much as we practically can. If we do that, we will feel good about ourselves and others. I was brought up in a Christian family, and I think that Christians are compelled to be liberal by many New Testament teachings. I could make a long list, but one example should serve: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”Gal. 6:2. So I am not offended to be called a liberal. As for the “tax-and-spend” part, I want to point out that “tax” and “spend” are really the only two functions available to government. Without taxes, the unit of government — federal, state, local — would go bankrupt, and therefore could not serve citizens. The means of service to citizens is government spending. A government could possibly tax without spending, but that would be abusive. A government cannot, as we have seen over the past several years, spend without collecting taxes.