I will break this down into the two issues.
First, tax money being spent.
And second, tax money being borrowed. This blog will be in the future.
So, the first problem about tax money is the manner it is spent.
OK. First, some tax money must be spent. There is a basic level of government which is expected in every governing system.
Even a tribe of 100 people will have some form of recognizing their leader(s) within their community. The leader(s) are part of their extended family. And their wealth may not be transferred as a form of tax. They may just throw a big celebration for their leader(s). They may do business with, or through, their leader(s).
But, once you move beyond the tribal system of governance, you move away from family members. You move away from simpler forms of taxation. And you begin to separate tax from other forms of wealth re-distribution. Because taxation becomes a separate money amount, we can readily identify what taxation costs each of us.
Even if we ignore the tax cost.
At some point, people expect a return for the money they pay in taxes. Usually, people expect governance; defense; security; and some form of welfare.
Governance might not cost much more than the building where the leaders meet.
Defense might be taken care of by the national police forces – like Costa Rica which has no military.
Security will usually include firemen as well as police.
Everyone expects government to provide some form of welfare. That may include food and shelter.
So, there are many ways in which taxes are used to pay for what a society costs. Every government of any size breaks down what they are paying into related groups. Usually they use some form of accounting and break the expenses down into what they call ‘line-items.’ Every line-item has a cost associated with those services provided by the government to the people.
So, in a fundamental way, all taxation is about taking money from the people to pay for what the leaders consider to be important.
So, while some people focus on how taxes are spent, in some manner, all taxation is about taking money.
If anyone else takes money, we consider it to be illegal and usually by force. And we usually call it theft.
In the Colonies, Americans fought a Revolution to stop taxation without representation.
BTW, by the way, taxation then was less than ten percent. Now taxation in America is expected to be more than 60%.
While some claim American taxes are too low, there is a different reality. <a href="http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html plus American medical care as a part of GDP equals over 40% plus 20% EQUALS over sixty percent …. over 60%.
And we are borrowing half of our federal government spending …. So, we are taxing future generations of Americans for our spending now.
But, like I mentioned above, taxation is taking.
So, there are two fundamental problems with taking money from workers.
First, how much money can you take and still be morally entitled to take that money from people?
And second, how much money is enough, or how much is too much?
I hope I have not lost anyone.
But, how much money is enough. And how much money is it ok to take from someone?
I would hope that both answers are something like, “As little as possible.”
And there comes the problem.
When most Americans are really being taxed SIXTY PERCENT, it seems to me that it is not as little as possible.
What do you think?
Are taxes too low? Or, too high?