Why Pay Taxes?
As an individual citizen of the United States of America, I have paid taxes with each job that I have had in my adult life. I have never had a problem with the philosophy behind paying income taxes. I do believe that some alternatives might make the system work better for the government of the country or states, but I do not hesitate to pay my share of taxes. It ensures that the country will have the proper funds for all the different services the government must provide. Services like defense, infrastructure, and social programs are just a few. These programs require some form of revenue to support them for the future. It is a simple procedure that most civilized countries use to govern the society.
The arguments from both side of the debate center around one simple factor when it comes to taxes. This is my hard-earned money and I should have a say on how it is used. Now, for one side, this is a simple matter that if the taxes are lowered or eliminated, then the money will be used as the citizen wishes. This is a simplified definition, but the point is that the lack of tax revenue starves the government to the point that unwanted programs fail.
As most of these programs work as a safety net for the populace, this side wants to dissolve the net because the government is just giving money to those that have not earned it through hard work. On the surface, this seems a fair argument to those seeking to make our society about the individual. Individualism walks hand-in-hand with the capitalism ideal that business success and wealth of the individual should benefit from lower taxes. This ideal suggests that to raise the tax levels for the successful is a punishment of the success. In other words, this style of thinking leads leaders to remove the barriers to capitalism and its free market.
On the other side of the coin, the need for tax revenue to support the government and its proper administration is important to continuation of the country. This angle moves the eyes from the individualism to a community environment. A sense of collective resources being used for the group as a whole boils up from this side. Their ideals that the success of capitalism comes from consumerism, in turn the dependence of the free market on the people must submit to equality through regulations. In the minds of this side, the tax levels should show that the upper income levels pay a larger portion to help support the community.
Now, with all that stated in a very simple form, it would seem that the struggle could remain for years, but it is crazy to think that such a matter could stay in a cyclical pattern. Even my cynical side does not despair when I look at this. We live in a world that is moving forward with progressive thoughts and situations. A simpler way to express the two sides is to say that one side wishes to cling to a hardened status quo while the other side seeks to push our society to a dark chasm of chaos in the unknown future. However, I don’t believe this is the future if we just open our minds to possibilities. There are so many possibilities to find constructive ways to use the riches of our society. Natural resources safely used and infrastructure projects are just a couple areas.
A spirit of community grew from the dark times of World War II. The world grew to use its wealth to venture into community building and exploration. This idea of coming together has been lost to many of my generation as we are all looking for the entitlement of individual success without helping the community. Perhaps it is time to return our thinking to those dreams of success as a community that the individual can be proud to be part of. Remove the barriers between us and return to the spirit that we are all human beings.