Now, we are for low taxes but not for no-taxes or gimmicky-taxes. Taxes must be paid, and the founders made provision for that in the Constitution. If you want the services, you’ve got to pay the bill. But no service should be immune to public examination. Where are the funds going? How much value are we getting? It’s pretty clear, especially at the state level, that there are many savings to be had. And…we can’t have everything we want from government. This country got along quite well without many of the “services” available today.
I see no reason why the government should fund NPR. I see no reason why the government, except for limited programs, should fund the arts, even though I love the arts. We speak of our golden age of film, our golden age of television, our golden age of American music. Isn’t it interesting – all those “golden” ages took place before the federal government started heavy subsidies for the arts. (There were some during the Depression.) It was artists and visionaries who created golden ages, not government grants.
We must also take care that our taxes aren’t going simply to prop up higher prices for our citizens, especially in education. Be wary of “tuition grants,” which are usually followed by the raising of tuition, essentially negating the grant. It’s an old racket. Be wary of “arts grants” to organizations or sectors that pay vastly inflated salaries.
So, pay your taxes today. But, throughout the year, be vigilant. Be vigilant about how money is spent. Also be vigilant about tax gimmicks, including those from conservatives, that can’t provide the necessary revenue for the things we do want and, as a nation, do need.
Margaret Thatcher once said that socialism doesn’t work because, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. She was right. Eternal vigilance, my friend.
From Urgent Agenda (www.urgentagenda.com)
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