A different viewpoint on paying taxes

April 17, 2014

I notice that Christian Hudson is asking the question: "Why pay taxes?" (in the Gazette in a recent viewpoint article and in a paid advertisement). He then goes on to explain his theory of economic reality and his proposal to "Eliminate an unnecessary and outdated tax...." which, he claims, will "kick-start the economy."

I shall claim that economic reality is a lot more complicated than he thinks, and he left out a lot of important details. If all taxation stopped without stopping the spending that is supported by taxation, then tax-related debt expansion would get worse. If that spending did stop, then about one out of all five jobs would also be eliminated which would instantly lead to 20 percent unemployment. All of those people would stop their own spending, thus leading to much more unemployment (another 20 percent?).

Sure, if people get to keep the money they would normally use to pay taxes they could spend it on everything else. However, considering that past recessions and depressions take three to 10 years for recovery, I think tens of millons of people will be mad at Mr. Hudson and for many years. And, after recovery, I don't see that we will be better off. There will still be a need for a lot of services and they will cost us just about as much as we already pay in taxes.

Life in a tax-free economy might not be what very many people will want. A national military, a law enforcement system, government subsidies to corporations (to help keep down prices we pay for things and help the corporations keep jobs in the USA), welfare for many disabled people, Medicaid, an educational system, sidewalks and streets, and most highways

and bridges that are now free to use, most scientific research, the space

program, and national weather satellites for hurricane monitoring - to name just a few of the useful things paid for by our taxes - would cease to exist. The tax-based system is not perfect, but, to answer Mr. Hudson's question, we pay taxes and get most of the things that are more practical to obtain from a government than otherwise.

Arthur E. Sowers

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