Could Any Tax Plan Be Better Than What We Have Now? [OPINION]
As the tax reform debate rages in Washington, D.C., let’s send out a pipe dream for what funding the government could be, but probably never will.
If we went to the land of rainbows and lollipops where anything would be possible, this humble scribe would ask to follow the philosophy of the minstrel Ray Stevens. At one time he intoned the words, “I believe if ten percent is good enough for Jesus well, it ought to be enough for Uncle Sam.”
Let’s allow a moment for the politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats to pick themselves up off the floor after fainting from the audacity of that proposal. So we take ten percent from everyone who works for a living and that’s the base funding for our federal government.
Not nearly enough is it? You would be absolutely correct. However, wouldn’t it be neat if the people really had the power to control what our government does?
Instead of being Oliver Twist in the scene from the Charles Dickens book who begs for another morsel of food from the master, the government has to be the lowly urchin bringing his bowl back to us as taxpayers to meekly say, “I want some more.” That would be sweet.
For centuries, kings and absolute rulers either benevolent or despotic ruled over their respective territories. Their word was law and if the monarchy said it was to be done, it was. The citizens were subject to every whim and taxes were taken to support every endeavor.
America was built to be a different place where no one man could exert his power over millions of people. There would be one leader, but other elements of government would make sure no one overstepped their bounds with the people taking ownership of who was placed in positions of leadership.
It’s been so long since our country has been exposed to tyranny, our citizenry doesn’t know of the pitfalls that come with a government that wields power on par with the kings and queens.
Knowing human nature, everyone in their own situation wants to take advantage of the opportunities before them. Those in positions of power want to maximize those advantages and those who don’t have power will resist the exhortations of the men and women above them until forced to do so.
If there were no penalty for skipping any or all tax payments, who would remit? However should government continue to grow unabated because leaders are too gutless to balance a budget and citizens are too selfish by allowing it to continue?
Covering a debt of $20 trillion dollars (and counting) is going to take more than just votes and a signature from the Executive Branch. Plus there still are a whole lot of people who will need help along the way.
Is it too much to ask for sanity in the methods and amount of taxes needed to fund public services? Maybe a better question is how much does each one of us sacrifice our own wants and needs to be responsible citizens of the United States?
I could be satisfied with solutions in small stages. Feel free to come up with your own ideas.