What if half paid no taxes?

What if half paid no taxes?

February 8th, 2009 in Opinion Free Press

Most us don't like taxes, do we? But we have to pay federal, state, county and city taxes, don't we, because taxes are necessary to finance government services?

But what do you think would happen if more than half of the people were not required to pay taxes - while fewer than half were required to pay the whole governmental bill?

Wouldn't the more than half not paying taxes demand benefits for themselves that would have to be paid for by the fewer than half who did pay, resulting in a catastrophic failure of the economy that supports us all?

Do you realize that more than 44 million American households already pay no federal income taxes?

Have you noticed that President Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on 5 percent of Americans, and wants to "cut" taxes for others - meaning in some cases that people who already pay no federal income taxes would get checks from taxpayers as $500 "refunds" for something they have not funded in the first place?

Do we want to have our country moving toward having more than half not pay and fewer than half pay?

Currently, it is sadly reported that about 11 million Americans are unemployed. We are sympathetic toward each one who wants a job but can't find one. But while about 11 million American citizens are jobless, we have somewhere between 11 million and 20 million people (no one knows for sure how many) who have come into our country illegally. Many or most of them hold jobs, which is the reason they have come here.

Congress has been considering many new spending programs to "stimulate" the economy - with the cost approaching a trillion dollars. These plans include many things that are not stimulative, but may actually add a drag on our economy as money has to be borrowed to finance them. Some of the programs are unconstitutional. Some are unnecessary. Some are wasteful. Some are sheer "pork."

Do such things represent sound federal finance, good judgment, economic wisdom and "good" policy?

If half or nearly half of prospective voters believe they can get more out of government in a variety of handouts, subsidies, benefits, incentives or other ways, we will sow the seeds of our own economic destruction, not prosperity.

Scottish-born lawyer and writer Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, lived in Britain from 1747 to 1813. Two separate notable quotations have been attributed to him, with the two sometimes having been put together - although there has been no reliable determination of whether he said such things. But they make a lot of sense. Here are the quotes:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage."

It would be wise for us today, as government is growing, as our economy is shrinking, to consider these comments as a beneficial warning to us all.