Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Yet Again, The Case For Higher Taxes Makes Itself

I started this blog a little more than seven years ago with a number of goals in mind.  One of them was to improve my writing with practice, practice, and more practice.  But another one was to address subjects that ranged from the political to the cultural, and sometimes embraced more than one aspect of life.  And one of those subjects is taxes.

We've been in the grip of an anti-tax rebellion for most of the last 40 years  Cutting tax rates has become the mantra of politicians in both of our major political parties, especially when the subject turns to tax cuts for the investing class.  All we have to do is cut tax rates down to zero (or lower, if such a thing is feasible), and all will be well.

Except when it isn't.  Because reality disagrees.

As this Huffington Post piece illustrates, we now live in a world where it is possible for one or a small number of individuals to amass so much economic wealth (thanks to tax cuts) that it is possible for those individuals to threaten democratic control of democratic institutions.

I have often argued that hiking tax rates for the wealthy is the moral equivalent of welfare reform for the rich.  There can be no doubt about that now.  But the ugly truth is that all of us pay too little for the civilization that we take for granted.  That's why this is sadly the state of our infrastructure.

We need to stop kidding ourselves about the free lunch we've given ourselves for the past four decades.  It hasn't been free  It hasn't delivered the benefits that were promised by its advocates.  It is not a sacred text from Mount Sinai; it's a horribly bad idea that belongs on the dump heap of history.

Let's make 2016 the year that we put it there.

No comments: