Courtesy of Chuck Sheketoff of the great Oregon Center for Public Policy. I’m a day late, but here’s Danny Kaye singing “I paid my income tax today!” A bit bellicose to be sure, but this was during WWII.
I’m afraid today’s version would be something like “I sheltered a bunch of income from my taxes today!”
This actually gets to a profoundly important theme: it used to be more commonly accepted that income taxes paid for things that meant a lot to America. Until we regain that sensibility, we’ll be stuck where we are. Part of regaining it calls for doing a better job of explaining the role of government and the efficiencies therein. Social insurance programs, for example, like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, are a critical function that are efficiently delivered relative to what you’d get from the private sector. Later today, I’ll post something on how even the extremely unpopular TARP worked much better than you thought.
But a large part of it also means ridding gov’t of its current dysfunctionality. Why should anyone feel good about sending their hard-earned dollars to the Treasury if it just pays for the ongoing squabbles that never seem to get anywhere? Of course, that means the electorate needs to send us different politicians…ones who remember how to compromise.