In true Old Testament style, the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis, Bryan Fischer, hates everyone outside of his little group of fascist aberrochristians. And now he thinks he has figured out a new way to keep political power in the hands of white folks: only let property owners vote.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
You know, back in the day, in the colonial period,” Fischer said, “you have to be a landowner, a property owner to be eligible to vote and I don’t think that’s a bad idea. And the is very simple: if somebody owns property in a community, they’re invested in the community. If they’re renters, they’re going to be up and gone; they could leave the next day … [P]eople that are not property owners – it’s like people that pay no taxes, they have no skin in the game. They don’t care about the same things that somebody does who is rooted in the community.
An obvious problem with this scheme is that we live in an age where corporations have ever more power, and according to Fischer, only tax payers have “skin in the game” – yet corporations – along with many rich white people – pay few or no taxes.
In 2011, a report, “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010,” as ourfuture.org explained, “looked at 280 corporations, finding that 78 did not pay federal taxes in at least one of the past three years and 30 averaged a less-than-zero tax bill in the last three years. Yes, less-than-zero, meaning they got money from the government instead of paying taxes to the government.”
That includes big corporations like Verizon, which paid zero percent tax in 2012, wants to determine the future of our Internet. If they have no skin in the game, how can they have any say? Seemingly, even Fischer would say they should not. Many other large multi-billion dollar corporations, if they pay taxes at all, pay less in taxes than you or I.
According to Fischer’s own logic, rich white folks who pay no taxes should not be allowed to vote, property owners or not, because it is taxes that give you “skin in the game.” The only skin these people, however, seem to have in the game is figuring out new ways to avoid paying taxes. At the very least, corporations should bow out of politics altogether unless they pay their fair share.
Fischer’s goals are incompatible and he can’t have it both ways: average Americans pay taxes, more taxes than rich people and more taxes than corporations. That means that average Americans should have the vote, property ownership aside. I think in this regard Fischer might actually be onto something here. Corporations may be people, but they don’t get to have a say unless they pay taxes. Otherwise, butt out.
I should also observe here that on the other hand, Fischer’s scheme seems strangely liberal. After all, originally there were religious limitations on voting as well and Fischer has many times over shown his disregard for the First Amendment. It wasn’t until 1850 or so that all white males were actually voting. But the thing is, this movement toward voting rights took place in the states, as the states themselves eliminated property requirements. Is Fischer advocating against states rights?