Dearth and Taxes


Joe Biden’s claim that it is patriotic to pay higher taxes notwithstanding, it seems to be a truth univerally acknowledged, that citizens in possession of a good income do not want to pay more taxes. And given the opportunity to do so, they usually don’t.

And after all, why should we pay more than is required? Those of us who actually pay taxes (66%) pay for ourselves, we pay to support the 43 million who don’t pay taxes, and we are now paying to support the multi-trillion dollar boondoggle passed by Congress which as yet has done nothing to affect the economy, with the exception of making some lobbyists and politicians richer than they already were.

And despite what Colin Powell might think…

“The Republican Party is in deep trouble,” Powell told corporate security executives at a conference in Washington sponsored by Fortify Software Inc. The party must realize that the country has changed, he said. “Americans do want to pay taxes for services,” he said. “Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less.” [emphasis mine]

… most people are willing to pay a fair — but not excessive — amount of taxes, but they surely are not looking for more government in their lives. At least, I’m not, are you?

So why all the excoriation of business (and people) trying to dodge paying their “fair share” of taxes when those very citizens and businesses utilize the (almost incomprehensible) tax laws to pay the lowest possible amount? It certainly won’t help. It won’t lower anyone else’s tax burden, and it won’t stop the government from squandering it. According to Dr. Dwight Lee, Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia:

…[I]f some of my fellow taxpayers pay more taxes than required, my taxes are not reduced. Quite the opposite. The government would respond to the additional money by committing to new spending that will grow faster than anticipated, with yet more money and larger deficits being required, and I end up with a larger tax burden.

So please let’s stop with the “paying more taxes is patriotic” theme, and the suggestion that those who use tax loopholes are ipso facto tax cheats, shall we? If anyone, liberal or conservative wants to pay more taxes, he or she certainly may. There is no law that prevents it.

As for me, I’ll stick with Judge Learned Hand, who surely knew more about these things than does Joe Biden:

“Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”



2 Responses to Dearth and Taxes

  1. Kay L says:

    And if people wanted to pay for more services, they can do that without doing business with the government–that’s what the free-market is for.

    But, of course that’s not what they mean. They mean that you should also pay for the extra services they want.

  2. […] the fact that Colin Powell actually thinks that Americans want to pay taxes, most of us think we’re already paying more than […]

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