Monday, November 01, 2004

A Few Words on Taxes

I'm probably the only person in the world who would say this but... I don't mind raising taxes. Or, better yet, I wasn't for lowering taxes a few years ago. Yeah, Bush's tax cuts were nice. But, honestly, I didn't need it. I'm sure numerous others were quite happy to have their taxes lowered. But, I would have preferred balancing the budget and paying down the deficit.

The simple truth is you can't cut taxes AND cut spending, which is what I think alot of people don't get. Sure, we all want lower taxes. That's a great thought, but if we lower taxes, then we lower funding. If we lower funding, then we can't afford more police on the street, better training for firemen, better equipment for our armed forces. Or higher pay for our teachers, better education programs for our children. What we as a whole need to realize is that if we want lower taxes, then we have to be will to live without some programs that are funded by our taxes.

Now, the current administration has cut taxes, but raised spending and, surprise, surprise, the deficit has hit record levels. I don't understand how our leaders can get away with so much red ink in our country's books. It's as simple as this: We don't have the money, so we can't have it. I go through that at least once a week with my 11 year old. He understands we have to do without, say cable, because we can't afford it. It's the same with the federal budget. We can't afford Program X, so we have to do without. Or, we have to figure out how to pay for it without adding to our debt.

That's why I'm not opposed to raising taxes to generate revenue. I'd rather have more cops patrolling my neighborhood. I'd rather know my kid has options to pay for post high school eduacation. I could do this ad nauseum. If you want lower taxes, that's cool. Just be prepared for funding cuts, etc.

Maybe this raises the question of what should be taxed? Well, I'm down with luxury-type taxes. Like, cigarettes, alcohol, cable TV, etc. Things that we all think we "need" that we could easily live without. If you want certain luxuries, more of a tax on them will make you think twice about whether you can afford them. Then, maybe we'd be able to lower the taxes on... gasoline, for example. That would help us all especially right now when the price at the pump is killer.

Bear in mind, I'm not an expert on about this at all. I'm just trying to think outloud a little and maybe spark a little discussion. Yeah, it'd be great if we could lower all the taxes and still be able to afford billion jets, trillion dollar defense systems, and a bajillion dollar war on terrorism, but I don't think that's possible. At least, not if we want a balanced budget, too. And, if 5 billion American families have to balance their budgets, why can't our government do the same?

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