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Why Everyone Must Pay

by Ouida on May 26, 2010


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I don’t know why this happens but every tax season there are disturbing articles about how much one group of people pays versus how little another group of people pays.  This year did not disappoint.  Yahoo finance published the article, “Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax.”  What I learned when reading the article was that a family of 4 making $50,000 may pay no taxes and that tax credits intended to zero out taxes for low income families are actually refundable.  This is an extreme example but if you are low income and qualify for a $2000 tax credit and have $1000 in tax liability you will get $1000 back in federal income tax.

All this wouldn’t matter except living in America is not free and everyone drives on the roads, attends the schools benefits from the public services.  It is not reasonable that one segment of society should pay all while another segment pays nothing.

I do believe we should have an alternative minimum tax. A tax that is imposed on low income households if income tax burdens are zeroed out through tax credits.  The minimum tax could be say 1% of income.  For a person making $30,000 that would amount to $300 dollars but for a country in which half its residents pay no taxes that 1% would amount to tens of billions of dollars.

The fact is that our society is is free society but it is not a FREE society.  Living here comes with rights and responsibilities and just as in any civilized society costs money.

In order to claw ourselves out of the current mess taxes are going to have to rise for all.  I finally finished reading the Big Short.  The whole world, literally, went crazy.  Wall Street bankers simply tapped into the increasingly prevalent desire in our country to buy now and pay later, if at all.  Something for nothing, a home for a song.  Am I excusing the bankers?  Uh-uh.   I have some choice words for the bankers, but without us, they would not have been able to do what they did.

An article in the Times spelled it out.  We want to be mad at Wall Street otherwise we’d have to be mad at ourselves, our sisters our brothers, our parents and grand parents for buying homes and taking out loans they could in no way afford to repay.  A home isn’t free, society is not free and everyone must pay.

We are all in the same boat and living in a civil society requires sacrifice that is why everyone must pay.

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