I finally got around to filing my income tax return tonight. I really didn’t want to think about taxes, but looking at a nice summary of how much money I earned last year, and how much of that went to taxes, it’s hard to avoid.
I have one major problem with our current tax system, and really the functioning of nearly every federal program. The problem is that the whole system is predicated on the idea that it is o.k. to take something from someone for the benefit of someone else. I reject this premise on moral grounds. I was taught when I was very young that taking something from someone else, just because you wanted it, is wrong. If I were the person who had had something taken from me, I would be upset. But I would be just as upset to find out that what I had something that was taken from someone else.
In another forum several years ago I started working out an analogy that might explain my position on the broken tax system. It could use some work, but here’s what I came up with:
During high school you work hard, doing all your homework, studying even when you don’t have homework, and taking advanced or accelerated classes whenever possible. Your hard work earns you nearly all A’s.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have a slacker friend that never studies or does his homework, and is more often sleeping in class rather than taking notes. After 4 years he has accumulated mostly D’s and F’s.
Just before graduation day the school administration announces a new program to “level the playing field” and equalize the disparity between those who were born with more intelligence and those who were less advantaged and not born as smart. You both Graduate with a report card showing straight C’s. Is this fair or just?
If you were the straight A student, would you accept such an arrangement without protest? Would you continue to work as hard knowing that whatever you do you are going to graduate with a C average? What if you were the D and F student, would you feel right getting credit for something you didn’t earn?