Attacks on Taxing Can Promote Goofed-Up Government

April 16, 2010

By Barry-Lee Coyne

Whether you are a conservative or liberal or lie somewhere in between, I have a challenging question to pose: Do you really want to suffer from the pitfalls of Government-on-the-Cheap?

Not a Mortal Sin

Well-meaning citizens are attacking taxation of any kind as though it were a mortal sin, which it isn’t in the least.  Just as we all need oil and gas to keep our cars running, the flow of taxpayer funds into the life arteries of our public services is essential for our very survival. And the cheaper the fuel we use, the more moribund is the life of the vehicle.

Let’s stick with the auto analogy and take it down the road toward the crossroads of reality.

If we go shopping for a Lexus, do we expect to pay the price of a Ford Taurus or even a Chevy?  Clearly they are of different classes. Their durability varies considerably, as does their element of safety in a crash.  We are just beginning to crawl out of the cruel wreckage of the mega recession of 2009.  If we went for an older, cheaper model that lacked airbags and a reliable seatbelt, we’d likely sustain a series of fractures and maybe even bleed to death.   Is that what we want in life’s journey?

Rather than whine about taxes in general, let’s insist on research and public opinion polls to determine which taxes actually create the fewest paupers, if that is our real goal.  Indeed, we need to monitor much more closely how our tax money is spent.  We must advocate for the best “bang for the buck” and not simply shoot off our mouths out of the fog of frustration.

Less public revenue quickly gets translated into reduced public services.  Layoffs ensue and projects on the planning boards are consigned to limbo.   Existing services get sliced, often following the “squeaky wheel” paradigm: he who shouts the loudest is apt to get through to the budget making officials in command.

Target Your Critique

Target that critique and make it uniquely apply to true excess, but also be prepared to pay a bit more in taxes down the road if you want that road to continue.  If supermarket prices rise, why should it be so hard to swallow that the cost of having effective government will also rise?  Nobody wants a diet of chronic heartburn.  Let us not choke on false propaganda. Φ

Barry-Lee Coyne has paid taxes since the 1950s and views this as the cost for having freedom woven into the fabric of being an American.  He welcomes candid comments at notcoy@netzero.net.

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