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Letter: The Case for Higher Taxes

To the Editor:

Should we be willing to pay higher taxes? There is a short answer and a very short one.

Very short first: Higher taxes are necessary because the things government provides cost more than they used to, and we want them.

Now the short answer. Inflation is a constant in our economy. We see it in everything we buy, from beer, to dog food, to payment for services. We have to pay more for everything we buy, and we expect and demand rising pay and prices from our employers and customers. The government exists in our economy, too. It has to pay more for the things it buys and to its employees. To pay more, it needs greater revenues. That’s the argument for taxes being higher.

But do we need these things? Remember, every penny the government spends has been authorized by two chambers of legislators and agreed to by the executive. This means that, in effect, enough members of all opinions have agreed that these things are either necessary, or desired by their constituents (us) or both.

If you think of yourself as a tax hater, I suspect you will be surprised by how many government programs you consider absolutely essential or that you have earned. And remember, there are other people with equal rights who want somewhat different things. You like the national parks, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. I like the Marines, the CIA, the Border Patrol and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. My cousin in New Jersey likes the Weather Service and FEMA. My elderly aunt likes Social Security, Medicare and the Centers for Disease Control. This is the argument for the need.

Of course there are things that can be cut as unnecessary, and we should weed them out. But most programs have been approved for good reason. We will be more sensible and our country will be better served by its government if we shut up and accept the need to pay the taxes that are necessary for what we have decided we want.

Steve Rounds