Just Tax People Equally and Fairly
Remember the debate about the stimulus measures, enacted to prevent our economy from falling into another depression? Those that were against the stimulus didn’t want to add more debt because we would be saddling the next generations with paying it back. Now that we’ve avoided the worst-case economic scenario and are clawing our way out of the recession, the federal government and the states find themselves with billion-dollar budget shortfalls. When the opportunity arose to return more of a tax burden to the wealthiest Americans and close tax loopholes for corporations, our representatives decided they would rather not risk their campaign funding from those corporations and wealthy Americans who want to hang onto every last dollar. So instead of getting more income to pay for the things the government pays for, they have decided to cut education funding. States across the union are having to enact deep cuts in funding for public schools and school programs in order to meet budget shortfalls.
So apparently the best thing for our future generations is a bad education for everyone but the elite few who can pay for a private education for their kids.
And education isn’t the only thing that’s suffering. The newspapers are full of cities and towns that are having to cut their police and fire department budgets, with some municipalities doing away with their police and fire protection altogether. All sorts of government services are finding themselves under a microscope, and losing their funding. It’s only when a choking child dies because of an unmanned fire station that people realize the gravity of the situation.
I myself happen to be a fan of things like police and fire protection, libraries, safe roads and bridges, and a good education for all children, not just those lucky few with wealthy parents. And the way we fund those things is with taxes. The entire point of taxation is to spread the burden of paying for the services we all need amongst us all. I can’t pay a teacher’s $30,000 annual salary by myself, but I can have a few bucks deducted from my paycheck, along with my fellow coworkers, to ensure that the kids in my neighborhood are in school and learning and preparing to be productive adults.
My family’s budget is stretched thin. The thought of discretionary income is laughable. But if those of us in the middle are the only ones willing to pay for government services and our children’s education, then I say, quit slashing the budget for services our community needs. Go ahead and tax the %&#* out of us. Maybe we can open our eyes in the next election and elect people who understand the government runs on money, and there are just some things the government has to pay for. And if we’re really lucky, our elected officials will have the guts to ask EVERYONE to pay their fair share.