Murphey: Smoke, mirrors, the politics of fear and tax increases

Murphey: Smoke, mirrors, the politics of fear and tax increases

I detest the politics of fear. I especially dislike those practices which leverage the fears of society’s most vulnerable. The fears are leveraged for the political benefit of those who are in the government class and who have an agenda such as preserving or growing their funding, increasing the size of government, or creating new fees and taxes.


This form of abuse occurs more frequently than you know.

A few days ago, I was reminded of this as I heard from a senior citizen who had recently spoken to a government official. The official had successfully scared the senior citizen into fearing the loss of a basic, vital and life saving service upon which this senior citizen’s spouse had become dependent.

Fortunately, I was aware of the facts of the matter. I knew there was no factual justification for the scare tactic. And I knew the real motive of this government official. He seeks the expansion of government and doesn’t mind scaring the most vulnerable in order to accomplish his goal of additional government and more taxation.

I did my best to reassure the senior citizen and to explain the smoke and mirrors used by the some in the government crowd to manipulate the citizenry. I hope I was successful; however, I could tell that fear and worry had taken their toll and as I hung up the phone, I had a hard time coming to terms with the damage that had been wrought upon this kindly individual. “This is so very wrong!” I thought to myself.

This abuse is similar to the actions of state government officials who have terrified many vulnerable individuals with their prognostications of an upcoming, massive re-work of the state’s current assisted living/long term care financial structure.

In the past few weeks, legislators have been overwhelmed with correspondence from those who are worried about the life-changing impact of this decision. As I receive this correspondence, I do my best to assure the worried persons that the fear mongering isn’t justified. I know that within just a few weeks, government officials will ride to the rescue and normality will be maintained.

In the short term, though, I hate to see people so worried about an eventuality that those in the know must realize will not come to pass. I feel that the affected population are being used as political pawns to the detriment of their short term mental health.

Within a few weeks, they will realize that the fear inducing projections were not valid but this relief will not undo the fear and worry which they have undergone the past few months.

It is the unfortunate outcome of the politics of smoke, mirrors and political fear.

Finally, over the past few days, news stories have emerged regarding late session, last minute attempts by legislators to potentially enact an array of tax increases including a gas tax increase and a new tax on “services”.

I hope this going without saying but just in case there is any doubt: I will oppose these efforts!

More on this next week.

Thank you for reading this article. Your interest and input are much appreciated. Please do not hesitate to email with your thoughts and suggestions.


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