"The expenses of government, having for their object the interest of all, should be borne by everyone, and the more a man enjoys the advantages of society, the more he ought to hold himself honored in contributing to those expenses."
- Anne Robert Jacques Turgot -
"I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. -
"Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt -
"The payment of taxes gives a right to protection."
- James M. Wayne
It seems that almost everyone dreads paying taxes. As each April 15 nears, blood pressures rise, sweat starts to flow, the sound of grumbling can be heard, and people all across the country pray for a refund or that they won't have to send money into the government. Conservative Republicans love to capitalize on this to selfishly advance their own anti-government, anti-tax agenda. It's pathetic how these people always want to appeal to the public's baser instincts just so they can gain, maintain, or regain power. Republicans love to manipulate people into thinking only of themselves rather than for the benefit of everyone as a whole.
Don't get me wrong: I am not an advocate of high taxation or resorting to taxation as a means to force economic equality across the board. But, like the wise and thoughtful persons quoted above, I understand the necessity of both government AND taxes. As evidenced by their behavior over most of the past 30 years, "the conservative era," it is obvious that most Republicans do not.
As shown throughout the Reagan years, and again through the disastrous George W. Bush era, and even in the current economic stimulus discussions, Republicans seem to think that the only way to create economic growth is by cutting taxes on big business and wealthy individuals. The thought is that these entities will then take that freed capital and invest in new business to produce new jobs and higher wages for their workers. But we have already seen what a fallacy that belief is. Giant oil corporations have been recipients of huge subsidies and tax breaks for years, and they have failed to build even one new domestic refinery in more than 30 years. Giant corporations and wealthy individuals have NOT taken their huge tax breaks and invested in new industry or raised wages here, even though worker productivity has risen steadily over the past decade. Instead, these capital-rich groups have exported jobs and invested in plants outside of our borders. The net effect, of course, has been to vastly increase their wealth and holdings while decreasing those of working America. We have also seen the devastation caused by Republican-led deregulation and smaller government efforts. Our mortgage and banking industries have all but collapsed, energy speculators have raped us, and our products are growing increasingly unsafe and our environment is getting increasingly more polluted. This is not good; it is bad. This is not progress; it is regression. This is not right: it is morally and operationally wrong.
Those who complain loudest about taxes usually fall in the upper income brackets. Most of them are Republicans. Paradoxically, some of them pay NO taxes, having managed to loophole themselves out of taxation altogether. Many others cheat whenever and wherever possible. Yet they do not hesitate to avail themselves of tax-supported highways, police, fire, or defense for their own benefit or security, or demand the most of these. The rest pay a higher percentage of their income than do those in much lower income groups. However, when all the dust has settled, they still have a much higher amount of money left over for investment, creature comforts, luxuries, or just fun than do the poor or middle class, who now end up unable to afford even basic necessities, let alone make inestments, or purchase luxuries or have fun money. In fact, many of the latter groups have now even lost their homes or cannot even afford medicine or health insurance.
We constantly hear John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, John Boehner, Jeff Sessions, Jim DeMint, Mike Pence, John Cornyn, and all the rest of those congressional Republicans pushing for even more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. But these Republicans are completely out of touch with the current pain and struggle of the great majority of the country, the people who DO pay taxes and have little if any money left over afterward in comparison. These Republicans have refused to support a stimulus plan that will put more money in the hands of the poor and middle class. They have chosen to be uncooperative and obstructionist. They prefer to stand resolute, pouting and shouting in support of an abstract principle of smaller government or less taxation, rather than to act on behalf of what their constituents really desperately need. As such, since they are not really representing the best interests of the majority of their constituents, they should be thrown out of office next time they are up for election. We have abundant proof that their belief in deregulation and "trickle down economics" is incorrect and actually harmful to the country, save for all but a few piggish filthy rich. These Republicans, and all who follow them, should be removed from the public payroll since what they advocate is a failed, bankrupt, and dangerous philosophy.