by David Safier

A piece of commentary by Joe Brewer (I don't know the name) on the truthout website has a very interesting analysis about how conservatives get people to accept their idea that taxes are harmful and government doesn't work.

This passage is overly simplistic, but it's a very interesting analysis of how Republicans prove government doesn't work by making sure it doesn't work:

The reason many people accept conservative claims about taxation and government is that they hold up for many common experiences, especially when conservatives are in control of the government. Conservative officials enact policies that make life worse for people while claiming that things will get better. Then they draw upon these negative experiences to advance their agenda. No Child Left Behind is an excellent example. The strategy works like this (a more detailed analysis can be found here):
1. Declare that the agenda is to "improve" public education.
2. Pass legislation that cripples public schools.
3. Cry out for "reform" when people see how bad our schools are doing.
4. Get rid of public schools and replace them with private schools, especially schools that teach conservative ideology (e.g. elite charter schools, religious schools, etc.).

Here's a short, cogent, and again overly simplistic analysis of the meaning of the phrase "tax cuts" when it comes from a conservative.

"tax relief" and "tax cuts" are just code words for destroying the capacity of government to serve the public.