Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don't Mess with Taxes

There has always been a vociferous portion of the populace who is anti-tax.  But if you are to believe the mainstream media, what was once a fringe element is gaining strength.  Indeed, here in New Jersey, Chris Christie was elected governor on a nebulous tax-cutting platform.

In any society outside of Somalia, people are taxed by their government.  These funds are used for a range of things from defending the nation to fattening the pockets of corrupt politicians.  Part of the price of living in a civilized society is paying taxes.

Naturally, not everyone is enthusiastic about where their tax money is going, and the Tea Party Republicans are most vocal about this, even though government spending is greatest when they are in power.  Today’s Tea Party Republicans rail about government spending on health care, education, and other social services.  That’s their right.  As a taxpayer, I’m happy that some of my tax money goes to help the indigent and less privileged.  Yet, you typically don’t see Progressives calling for the death of elected officials because some of our money is going to foolish wars in the Middle East.  In a pluralistic society, no one person determines where the tax money is spent, and consequently we must accept the fact that some of our tax money goes to causes that we may not support.

When a Tea Party protester drives his car on government-funded roads using his government-developed GPS to find a government-built park to protest and eat a hot dog that was checked by government food inspectors to chant “keep the government out of my Medicare”, it is apparent that many of these people are acluistic on how society works.

Protest is good.  But it is not sufficient to simply call for no taxes.   Those who call for changes in the tax law need to address the other side of the equation and discuss where the reduction in revenue will result in cuts.   Then write to your legislators and then let the electorate decide.

So Happy Tax Day everyone!   Enjoy the benefits that our country gives us through its taxes.  If you can’t, perhaps you should move to Somalia.

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