Friday, February 14, 2014
When Will It Be Enough?
A conversation on a friends FaceBook page got me to thinking. Actually, it was a reposting of my post from this morning, about gasoline taxes and who makes more money off of the sale of a gallon of gas, the oil companies or the government. See the post here. Look for the word "greed."
In the thread a liberal who read it, starts taking my friend to task, even uses the pejorative "Tea baggers" (You can always count on a liberal to jump to the name calling right off the bat) in stating his dismay with my position. He went on to state that we need these taxes to pay for our "infrastructure" and such things. It seems that there is never a tax that a liberal doesn't like. But this is worth scrutinizing further.
When we try to have a conversation with liberals about taxes they always respond that we must have taxes to pay for things that the government simply has to do. It never seems to matter to them how high those taxes already are or how long those taxes have been in place, or even whether those taxes have done what they were supposed to be used for, we must have them and they must be higher. You know the old retort, "But who will build the roads?" Let us explore that example right now. For years the Commonwealth of Virginia has had a tax that was to be set aside and specifically used for roads, building and repair. Yet after many years of taxation for this purpose the roads were not being built, at least not at the rate that we were told they were needed. The roads were also not being repaired, again, not at the rate they were deteriorating. So what to do? Well, we got the largest tax increase in the history of our state, thanks to a Republican governor and his cohorts in the General Assembly. Anyone want to place bets on when we'll have the next tax increase to pay for roads?
Taxes are supposed to take care of all sorts of things; From the aforementioned infrastructure, to paying government officials, to paying law-enforcement, the courts, and then on to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and housing the homeless. Everything from the defense of our nation to welfare programs for individuals and corporations. If it doesn't move tax it and if it does move make it stop, so we can tax it. There has even been talk of late about taxing purchases made on the Internet. Folks, if they haven't found a way to tax something yet you can rest assured that they are exploring new things to tax and different avenues for raising existing taxes. It just never stops. And I challenge you, liberal and conservative alike, do a Google search, or whatever search engine you prefer, and try to find a tax that has been reduced or abolished after it was implemented. If you can find one please post it in the comments section, I would be very interested in seeing one.
Over the years you and I have seen new taxes implemented and existing taxes raised for multitudinous reasons. You and I protest and are called selfish, greedy, cold-hearted, and other names that I cannot post in this family-friendly venue. You and I actually expect to see results when we are told that this tax or that tax is to be used for a specific purpose. All too often the results are less than satisfactory. Ask your liberal friends, "Do the results matter at all or is it just the fact that you 'feel good' about it that counts?" It seems that good intentions trump real results in their fantasy world. Look around you. Do you watch the news on TV or the Internet? Do you read a newspaper or listen to the radio for news? Do you, as I do, see the stories about our "crumbling infrastructure?" Come on, admit, you know you do. So, the next logical question would be, "Why is our infrastructure crumbling if we are taxing people to pay for its maintenance?" Where is that money going? Those of us here in Virginia have been asking that question about the new tax increase, that is ostensibly for the purpose of building and maintaining roads. Well, where was all the money collected prior to the new tax going?
Our taxes are also to be used to help those less fortunate than others - the poor. Remember Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty?" This government program, paid for with your tax dollars, was supposed to end poverty and dissolve the poorer classes as we knew it. Here we are fifty-years and $15 trillion later and people are still poor, people still need food stamps, people still need housing, people....well, you know what I mean. So, again, the next logical question is, "Where did all that money go?" If $15 Trillion is not enough then how much is? What tax can we raise next? What new tax can we implement? Will these taxes finally put us over the top? Will they finally solve the problem? You and I both know that the answer to that is a resounding, NO! Those taxes never were about ending poverty, they were and are intended to create and maintain a permanent lower class, which will continue to vote for the people who promise to keep giving them stuff. This is true in almost every case where taxes are taken from us and we are told that the money will be used to "fix" something.
We see it at the federal level, with things like the War on Poverty, at the state level, with the "roads taxes," and even at the local level, as is now happening here in Chesterfield County, VA. The county government needs more money to upgrade police radios and, get ready for it,......they need money for the children. Yes, there it is, when all else fails tug at the old heart strings by invoking, The Children. You see, the schools need upgrading, renovations must be made to make for a better "learning environment." Here's one thing you can do if you want a better learning environment, get the federal government out of our schools. OK, I apologize for digressing, but I had to get that out of my system. Back to my point: Why do they need more money? Where has the money they have been collecting been going? Has the government, at all levels, even tried to cut spending or weed out corruption and inefficiency? Well hell, why do that when you can just raise a tax?!
You see, the waste and fraud at all levels of government sees our money thrown away on things that do not serve the tax-paying public at all. The bulk of our taxes go to pay for the bureaucracy and overhead needed to maintain offices, and office workers, and new furniture, and new offices, and salaries for the bureaucrats, and when that is all said and done there is little left for the stated purpose of that tax. Get rid of unnecessary or superfluous positions? Cut unnecessary spending? Weed out fraud and inefficiency? No, that's crazy talk, that's what those bothersome "tea baggers" would say. Why do that when we can just raise another tax? My father and his brother owned a supermarket business that had as many at three stores at one time. If they had run their business the way the government runs things they not only would have been out of business quickly, but they likely would have ended up in jail.
To my friends liberal poster I would say that yes, we do need some taxes for some things. That is the way our form of government is set up. We need to pay for the defense of our nation, we need to maintain a judicial system, we need to have fire-fighters, and a few other positions and services (We can argue about privatization at another time), but for this article, today, I will state that certain taxes are needed. However, they should be as low as is necessary to properly fund the stated purpose for which they exist and not a penny more. Superfluous and unnecessary spending, corruption, and inefficiency must be actively and zealously rooted out, and when need be, those who abuse the tax-payers trust should be duly prosecuted. Instead of governments first reaction being to raise a tax it should look for ways to cut spending and save money, just like you and I have to do every day. If that makes me a "Tea Bagger," then so be it.