Tax time is upon us again. Normally, I’d probably let it all pass quietly, but a couple of recent comments and an NPR opinion piece have prompted me to take the bull by the horns.
Recently I blogged on the Occupy Movement and how, if we, as a society as a whole, don’t begin to operate on an entirely different mode, we’ll eventually find ourselves in the midst of a revolution. It prompted a response from my brother asking something like “how do you define having more than your fair share.”
I didn’t respond, for my point is that it will be the perception of the masses that will really count, since they will be the ones wielding the axes.
Then, on a recent trip to L.A., an old friend and I were talking, and he revealed that his goal in life was to reach the point where he paid no taxes at all. Having spent almost my entire life as a government employee as a college level teacher, that obviously didn’t sit well with me. I asked if he intended not to utilize publicly supported services anymore. His response was something like “if some of the wealthiest get buy without paying taxes, then why shouldn’t I?”
The real answer, of course, was “no.” He has every intention to continue to drive on paved highways, be protected by police and firemen, benefit by the protections of regulated commerce, rest assured there will be no invasion by foreign governments, and on and on.
Then I heard an opinion piece on NPR in which the speaker eloquently pointed out that most public services are highly thought of by the general populace and professionally delivered. She was more than glad to pay taxes as a means of expressing her appreciation to the hundreds of thousands of us who opt for a publicly funded paycheck with no possibility it will ever make us rich.
She ended with a question as to whether the wealthiest, when they oppose taxes (which actually always seems to really only be taxes on themselves), are expressing exactly the opposite.