In a Dec. 13th interview with Esquire, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he always tells his accountant:
“If you’re in doubt about taxes, pay more. No Cayman Island offshore investments. No gimmicks. I love paying my taxes!”
When was the last time you heard a Republican come even remotely close to saying, “I love paying my taxes”? To them, taxes are evil. They are the Great Satan of government. They have a fundamental lack of understanding about how taxes and spending actually work. Romney’s 47% comment isn’t the only stupid thing Republicans have said about taxes.
In an interview with Chris Wallace in 2010 about the economy, the elections, and immigration, John McCain said:
“The American people want us to stop spending. And so let’s just give them some certainty. Let’s extend the tax – the existing tax cuts. And then let’s give some more tax breaks to small businesses and large. And then maybe the American people will have some confidence.”
In 2009, Michele Bachmann was quoted by the Star Tribune (and others) at a luncheon in Denver as saying:
“This [taxation] is slavery, it’s nothing more than slavery. The Constitution provides freedom.”
Then there’s Paul Ryan:
“I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all of the math. But let me say it this way: you can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board by closing loopholes and still have preferences for the middle class. For things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care. So what we’re saying is, people are going to get lower tax rates.”
This was to Chris Wallace of Fox News earlier this year when he was asked to explain Mitt Romney’s tax plan, particularly the claim that it would remain revenue-neutral while bringing taxes down for everyone.
And there are more (G.W. Bush had more than his fair share of stupid quotes on every subject under the sun, which includes taxes).
Taxes, however, isn’t the only issue where Schwarzenegger differs from the Republican Party. In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, he jumped all over his own party for their narrow-minded attitudes, saying that they need to be more inclusive, not more rigid.
He also reversed his position on gay marriage in 2008, voicing support of overturning the controversial Proposition 8, and actually performed two gay marriages in his office, after vetoing legislation in 2005 and 2007 that would have allowed same-sex marriage.
He left office with almost no support from his party, but Republicans could take a lesson from him. While they considering showing signs of opening their minds, they (at least, their extremely vocal fringe) are still extremely rigid in most of their positions.