In our world, facts don’t matter: As we’ve often noted, facts play almost no role in our national discourse. We’ll give you four quick reasons:
The facts we hear are often wrong. Other key facts get disappeared.
When people in our tribe make up facts, we tend to applaud them for it. And in a highly tribalized culture, it’s hard to convey basic facts across tribal lines, even if the facts in question are accurate and important.
We’ll now offer a fifth, more specialized reason. Some key facts about the looting of the middle class tend to get disappeared by corporate-paid liberals and by our upper-end news orgs.
For these reasons, the latest very important fact will play no role moving forward. This basic fact comes from Philip Longman in The Washington Monthly, by way of Kevin Drum.
This basic fact concerns tax rates in Texas, the famous low-tax state:
LONGMAN (5/14): It’s true, as the state’s boosters like to brag, that Texas does not have an income tax. But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California...The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage “takers” at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.Several facts are involved in that passage, which we’re assuming is accurate, based on Drum’s good reputation. But let’s boil it down to this:
Texas is a low-tax state—but only for the highest earners. Low-wage families are taxed more heavily in Texas than elsewhere in the nation.
Given the hype about low-tax Texas, that’s a remarkable fact. It should be useful to progressives.
For some of the reasons we cited above, we’ll consign that fact to the bottom of a deep, cold Texas lake.
Data about the nation’s rising test scores have also been thrown in deep water to drown. So too for basic facts about the remarkable looting involved in American health care.
Still and all, that’s a striking new fact. It’s too bad facts don’t matter by widespread guild agreement!