Reader Opinion: Taxes
Taxes—we've been conditioned to dislike them as some evil scheme to deprive us of our hard-earned income to fund things that don't concern us. Part of this has been a con game by an economic elite; if they can convince us of the evils of taxation, their taxes will be low. Then they can use that excess money to control the political process and the nation.
That elite doesn't want us to understand that taxes are the maintenance fees we pay for a functioning society to provide stability as well as basic benefits and services for the citizens. With their increasing political influence the elite have adjusted the laws to benefit themselves, i.e. in the 1950s, when our democracy worked, those with the most wealth paid a rate of 90% on the very top segment of their income, now it is somewhere in the 30% range—often less than those who make far less than they do.
This has transferred the burden of a functional society nearly completely onto the backs of the dwindling middle class and the working poor. It's not hard to see the tax pool is now much smaller and additionally, most of the tax revenue goes to the military which is a direct pipeline to the rich and those corporations who often now pay little or no taxes. Quite an investment opportunity.
Now the rest of society is left to fight over the remains of the tax revenue to do all the things a healthy society needs to do. Social services and public functions are short-changed, and the society moves farther into dysfunction.
As long as the economic elite can continue to manipulate public-opinion to support the "no-new-taxes" illusion we will continue to fail as a society while they consolidate their power and wealth.