Taxes burden the common man
Sitting down to write this column, I had no idea what I should even talk about. I talked to friends who all had some pretty good ideas, but when I think about it everything seems to have a lesser importance after the events of two weeks ago today.
First off, I am not writing about the World Trade Center; Mike Marchand pretty much said everything I wanted to say Monday.
Instead I will write about something that affects us all and is completely unrelated. As one wiser than myself said, we've been reminded that we're human, but that doesn't stop us from living our lives. So without further adieu …
Taxes are choking the life out of the common man. Believe it or not, there was a time when one person's wages could comfortably support an entire family. Now, I look at my pay stub from my summer job (I am in a low, low tax bracket mind you) and notice that anywhere from $100 to $200 is missing each and every pay period.
This of course begs the question "What has Uncle Sam done for me in the last two weeks that is worth $200?" As you might have guessed, the answer is nothing. Nothing that the government has done for me is worth that much money in two weeks. Period. And I'm really not paying that much. This makes me angry.
At the beginning of this year, there was much controversy raised over George W. Bush's executive order stopping the funding of abortions overseas. Much hullabaloo went into this, but no thought. You see, the real question is why am I paying for any overseas parenthood clinics, abortive or not? That's your money and mine they are just giving away; it didn't just appear out of thin air. Same goes for a few of the other controversies brimming in the past few months. Everyone goes into situations like stem cell research with the idea of "Where should we spend this money?" instead of the obvious question "Should we spend this money at all?"
Personally, I think there are four things that I am willing to pay for my government to do for me.
First, I will pay for national defense. That is something we all take for granted but that is very important and can't be provided by a free market. We should fund this sector and fund it well.
Second is infrastructure. Things like roads and bridges just can't really be provided for everyone fairly unless the government handles them.
Third is education. I think it is important to fund education but to use a free enterprise system of education which would include a take-it-or-leave-it voucher system (that is, if a school accepts a voucher, it may not accept any other monetary payment in addition).
Lastly, I will pay for primary government functions. That is, making, enforcing and interpreting laws. A free market can more efficiently provide everything else. If I feel generous I can donate money to the overseas parenthood clinics of which I approve, I don't need a big government intermediary deciding which charity causes for me to support.
That in mind, I will get back to my original point. The common man cannot survive when the government steals from him all he can earn. Income tax relief does nothing for the common man. It is payroll tax that needs reformation. Tax-free day is mid-May now. That's half a year working for the government. So they can do what? Spend it on some guy who's never bothered to get a job, waste it on flu shots in Uzbekistan and pay off every nation in the world that can do nothing but criticize and complain about the United States while at the same time accepting millions of dollars in "aid" every year. Well, I'm not buying it, and you shouldn't be either.
John Litle is a junior MIS major who sent a resume CD to all the companies he wanted to work for, later realizing he had coded the links to his resume incorrectly. He will accept any internship you offer him. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, September 25, 2001