April 14, 2006

Taxes aren't all bad

Found this over at the TPM Cafe and thought it a timely essay:
Talking Taxes | TPMCafe: "I don’t need to remind anyone that it’s time to pay your taxes. But when will progressive politicians, intellectuals and activists learn to counter the Right's mantra that we get nothing for our hard-earned tax dollars?

What we all need to do, however, is to figure out how to explain to ordinary Americans why, in fact, we do pay taxes.

The Republican mantra -- 'shrink government and lower taxes' -- is fundamentally dishonest. They want us to believe that we are heavily taxed by an oppressive government and get nothing in return.

The truth is, our quality of life is far safer and more convenient because of government ordinances, regulations and inspections. Follow me through a typical day and I'll show you what I mean. Government services and regulations may seem invisible, but they’re everywhere you look.

I wake up and brush my teeth with water whose purity is inspected by government agencies. I pour some cereal and milk into a bowl. No creepy crawlers appear; both are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federally mandated labels on the cereal box and milk container, moreover, list the ingredients contained inside."

There's more. Unfortunately, I think there are some conservatives who want even the basic governmental controls removed and somehow think the market will regulate things like food safety and environmental protection.

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