"In forty-five years, I never saw a tax cut put out a fire."
- Rep. Barney Frank
This blog is dedicated to, and would not exist without, The Rachel Maddow Show.
Q: What about those of us who're barely paying our bills as it is? Every little bit we can get back from the government helps.
A: Generally speaking, I would be in favor of any tax increases that might magically get through Congress at this point being significantly (or totally) weighted toward the wealthy. I believe that the more life in America has done for you personally, the more you have a responsibility--the more responsibility you should feel--to buy back into that system for the sake of others. "The least of my brothers", and all that.
That said, I started this blog when I was 29 years old, and out of my entire working life thus far, 2011 was the first year that I made more than 20 thousand dollars--and most of that time I made less than 15. So unless that amount of income sounds heavenly to you, chances are you can spare at least as much money for taxes as I can.
Q: But the government does such a crappy job with our tax money anyway--bridges to nowhere and so forth. Don't you think civic-minded people can do a better job of re-investing their own money than a bloated federal bureaucracy?
Does a poorly-made sandwich stand as an argument for fewer sandwiches, or better sandwiches? If you don't like what your tax dollars are paying for--and few do, myself included--then your goal should be to change that, not to stop paying taxes altogether. And if you are opposed to taxation as a concept, then at least call yourself an anarchist and have done with it.
Now, if the American wealthy had a more established history of genuine civic-mindedness, not to be confused with naming the occasional library after one's self, then there might be an argument to be made there. In reality, though, I think the federal government is the best we've got. And it's not like the rich don't have an unfair amount of influence over what the government is buying, anyway--the choice for them is really just spending the money themselves versus giving it to the feds and telling them what to do with it.