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Monday, 15 April 2002

Hooray!  It’s Income Tax Day in the United States, which means that carping and whining about our tax burden will be at an annual high.  Boy oh boy, what could be more fun?  How about griping about a closely related topic?  I’m here for ya!

Personally, I don’t get most of my fellow Americans.  Compared to most countries in the industrialized world, we have a fairly small tax burden, while still expecting basically the same level of service from our government.  In addition, our gasoline is incredibly (some would say criminally) inexpensive compared to most countries.  Our income tax averages around 30% of direct income, with some shifting on either end of the wealth/poverty scale.  I can’t speak to capital gains taxes, but my general thinking has always been that if you’re well-off enough to have capital gains at all, then you can darned well afford the taxes on them.  Ditto the inheritance tax, only more so.

If we want government services, then taxes are inevitable.  If we don’t want those services, then enough people need to elect enough representatives to cut the unwanted services.  Then the taxes can drop.  (Assuming the debt’s been paid off, which of course it won’t be any time soon, but that’s an entirely different gripe of mine.)  If there aren’t enough such representatives, then the “will of the people” must be to keep the services.  Ergo, the taxes need to be able to support the expenditures on those services.  It all seems kinda simple to me.

And hey, if you don’t like the value received for the money you’re required to pay, then nobody’s forcing you to live here.  Find a better country.  Ever think you’d hear a liberal say that?

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