this is not sarcasm. i think taxes are great. i am all about the social contract, baby. call me a liberal, call me a fan of big government, call me a full on lunatic.. taxes are my favorite part of this democracy. at times they are misused by the professional liars we choose to run our country, but there are certain things - good things - that our politicians put our tax dollars towards that we all use and should all be able to appreciate.

the biggest example is, of course, the public education system. granted, it sucks in a lot of places, but even when it sucks it's more helpful than no education at all. and same thing with financial aid for students. there is no more noble goal than teaching people to survive, and to do so comfortably.

like many parts of the american government, i think the system of collecting taxes could use some improvement. for instance, it disgusts me to see the wealthy avoid paying large portions of their taxes by lying, cheating, and finding loopholes, then to hear them turn around and complain because the impoverished get earned income credit. that seems pretty just to me - you've benefited, greatly, from living in this particular system. you've benefited so much that you've been able to amass more wealth than you can use. so should you pay more taxes to the political structure whose laissez faire economy and other lack of control over big business made it possible? hell yeah. should the poor, people to whom the system was useless and/or detrimental, get some sort of compensation and assistance? hell yeah again. a lot of people like to argue that the lower class stays in that position because they simply didn't try hard enough, and in a certain sense that's true. but consider that 'hard enough' to escape poverty is really, really hard. and that's why you don't see very many wealthy people who've ever been poor. that's why most of them come from rich families.

those with power don't like federal assistance programs. they don't like the idea of government stepping in to try and guarantee equal opportunity. but they need to understand that the choices they make - the choice to pay as few taxes as possible - keep the poor dependent on federal programs. i have faith, somehow, in the power of democracy. and i love paying my taxes because i hope that one day they'll be applied the way they should be, to give everyone an equal chance at having a good life.

see rob now, pay later
and i-695
I'm pretty fond of taxation myself. I'm not entirely happy with where my tax money goes -- a lot of programs could be more efficient and effective. But most of them make me reasonably happy, like the welfare system.

As a graduate in computer science from Cal Poly, most of the people I know who bitch about taxes are people who took their state-subsidized college education north to the bay area and are now making absurd multiples of the poverty rate with it. Yet, they complain about the very taxes that funded their education, and hence their ability to make that much money. How hypocritical is that? I'll take $70,000 per year at a 35% taxation rate for $1000, Alex.

In Canada, we see a major plus from taxes--our free health system, what we call medicare, what americans cal single payer. It is not yet perfect, but when I broke my ankle just before Christmas, I just walked into an emergency room, and got my cast. Then I could go for aftercare--and I didn't need to show any kind of card, or check, or whatever.

I am not opposed to paying my fair share. But I was angered some years ago, when a Bronfman, the family that owned Seagram's, the company that makes booze, then bought Universal Studios, and Polygram Records pulled a scam.

A Bronfman family investment fund, worth about 2 billion dollars Canadian--not much American maybe, but a hell of a lot here--was allowed to leave the country without paying its tax liability. Its exposure was 800 million dollars Canadian. Even if the full amount wasn't collected--they never collect the full amount of my tax exposure, what's fair is fair--but they didn't collect a cent.

As usual, it is the poor that pay more. As part of tax simplification a few years ago, the bottom rate, mine, was raised from 13% to 17%, no doubt to compensate the government for the lose of income when it lowered the rates for middle and higher income persons.

If the rich don't have to pay--Why should I?

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