Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day: Merits and Misconceptions

The faux American protests of today, whereby the pouring of a jug of Arizona iced tea into a body of water is meant to be an act of protest against taxation, serve to highlight numerous misconceptions and hypocrisies inherent to this group of disgruntled taxpayers.

First of all, returning to a point that we have emphasized from time to time, the majority of these "protesters" are Baby Boomers who, while voiciferously bemoaning their perceived unjust tax burden, somehow fail to realize that it is the totality of their actions over the past quarter century which has necessitated said burden. The Boomers may not realize it, but what they are really saying is "We don't want to pay our share of tax. We would prefer that our children pick up this tab so that we may retire in peace".

Secondly, the concept of a progressive income tax is often deplored, ignorantly so, as "socialist" or "anti-capitalist". A brief review of historical literature however, tells us a different story. Within the Capitalist's Sacred Text itself, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, lies the following passage:
"The subject of every State ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the State."

The last bit that we would like to clarify is in relation to the numerous Government bailout measures and concomitant assertions made by many individuals, usually in front of a television camera, that somehow "their" taxes are not being spent wisely. These people act as if the pittance removed from their bi-weekly paycheck is somehow sufficient to recapitalize the banking system. The appropriate statement, in our minds at least, is as follows: I am quite upset that my children's taxes will be used to pay the interest on this borrowed money that has been deployed so frivolously by a frightened Congress and a tax-evading Treasury Secretary.

Of course, such a statement could only be delivered by an individual who had taken a bit of time to research and understand the methods by which the United States of America funds its daily operations. Perhaps we are expecting too much.

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