Like most people, I don't like taxes. I pay my taxes because I acknowledge that the government provides certain necessary services, and that as a recipient, it's my responsibility to pay for them. Sure, I don't collect welfare or medicaid or unemployment, and I'm not really expecting to receive Social Security when it comes time for that, but I can't really complain. I understand that as a citizen, I should pay taxes.
But do you realize that the lower 50% of income earners cumulatively pay less than 3% of the country's total income tax? Less than 3%! One-third of tax filers pay zero taxes, and that doesn't even count the number of people don't file at all, either through evasion or because they earning no taxable income.
This is only moderately acceptable, but the recent claims that everyone should get a continued tax break except for the top 5% of income earners-- people already paying 35% of their income, and 60% of the country's total tax yield-- are just plain ridiculous. Everyone else gets a pass except for those already shouldering way more than their fair share?!
I used to buy the argument that a progressive tax might be considered equitable because people with more have more to lose if the rule of law is not provided by a steady government. But I was thinking about that more this week, and have concluded that the exact opposite is true: government provides protection for the poor of the earth- the wealthy usually manage just fine on their own. So there goes that point-- and most other arguments devolve into class warfare or "legal plunder."
In Utah, we have a beautiful flat tax. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income, so there's no disincentive to produce more. A dollar earned is a nickel paid in taxes, no matter whom or what or how many. And it takes literally five minutes to file my state taxes, as compared to the drudgery of the federal tax labyrinth.
Even better would be a tax on consumption (like a sales tax) rather than on production (income tax), because if we really want to punish someone, then why not those who consume more than their share, rather than those who produce extra. Don't we like it when people contribute more than they are expected to?
Ugh... I really don't like taxes.