(see also Tax Reform & War Tax Resistance)
A healthy civil society requires a wide range of efficient public services. To provide them, governments must collect taxes. To ensure their quality, the public must trust in these services; & government must administer them in a transparent & democratically accountable fashion.
In most capitalist democracies people pay a high proportion (30-50 %) of their income in taxes, & in receive in return universal health insurance, free public education at all levels, social security, efficient police & fire protection, postal service, public utilities, & modern systems of public transportation. The standard of living in such countries is generally higher than in the US, & the benefits of citizenship & legal residence are more equitably distributed than they are among us.
Americans once fought hard to achieve a wide array of public services, & paid the taxes needed to support them. But during the past half-century we have been subjected to a steady barrage of anti-tax & anti-government propaganda. The result is legislation at the federal & state levels which (combined with the steady increase in military, police & prison expenditures) leaves government seriously strapped for funds & has shredded the "safety net," our best guarantee of "homeland security." Paying for public services by borrowing through long-term bonds is a public subsidy to lenders (corporate welfare), that passes the burden of payment on to our grandchildren. This is madness.
Antitax Credo Hits Huge State Deficits. Mark Sappenfield, Christian Science Monitor (5/7/03).
Anti-Tax Group Makes "Final Warning" to Federal Government. Michael L. Betsch, CNS (11/15/02).
Tennessee Taxpayers' Revolt. Conrad Meyer, Health Care News (8/1/01).