Saturday, February 02, 2008

The evil "T" word

The concept of taxes, and the raising of thereof, is not spoken without a deep shudder. Raising taxes is considered to be political suicide. A handful of yahoos even consider it to be legalized theft. The latter concept is both amusing and confusing. For example, police officers are paid for with tax dollars. So, if taxation is theft, what does that make the police? Accessories to a crime?

Anyhow, Badtux is in a considerably higher tax bracket than yours truly and sees taxes as a necessity to keep the USA out of Third World status. Robert Reich, former Clinton labor secretary, takes it a step further in his book Reason, arguing that paying taxes is patriotic:

"It's your money?" It's your country! If you weasel out of what you owe in taxes, either someone else has to pay more taxes to make up the difference or there's less of what's required--roads, hospitals, troops, cops, safety inspectors, teachers--to keep it great.

So, you have to ask...why does the anti-tax crowd (Grover Norquist, Neal Boortz, Steve Forbes, et al.) hate America? Reforming the tax code is one thing. Of course, Bush cut taxes while launching a pre-emptive war, and chances are, taxes will need to be raised again to rescue America from debt. (Hopefully they will be raised for those who can most afford it--i.e., rich people like Steve Forbes.) Such is life, and anti-tax conservatives need to get over their sense of entitlement and realize that they can't have everything they want.

Please note: I'm sure my attitude toward taxes will change as April 15 nears. Given that I do freelance work, I'm going to owe money. I'll really try to feel patriotic when I send my check to the IRS.