Monday, December 11, 2023

TAXES: They keep nation strong

| April 21, 2010 10:00 PM

Protesting paying taxes to the federal government is certainly our right as American citizens, as evidenced by the Tea Party rallies in Post Falls and Spokane. But do we really want the results that having a weaker federal government brings?

Our taxes provide a great deal of strength to our nation. They provide obviously needed roads, public education, public safety, the military, medicare, social security, regulation of cleaner air and a safer food and water supply.  Would any of the protesters willingly give up their medicare coverages when they are eligible to receive them? You might want to redesign the programs, but that is a separate governmental problem. 

Without a strong federal regulatory system banks have taken advantage of citizens and created many problems. State governments have been unable to provide these kinds of broad regulatory systems. The same has happened with health care , the current system is failing in the critical areas of cost , quality and access. Thirty years of efforts to fix the current system have sequentially failed. 

I have heard no suggestions from the protesters that would reduce the cost of care so more people could afford it. I have not heard any suggestions of how they suggest that the 40 million citizens without health insurance will get back into our medical system. Only one state in the union has attempted to solve this problem, Massachusets, and their plan has since been copied by the Federal reform. Did Governor Romney get it so wrong?

Everyone performs better when they know they are accountable.  And it is beyond the capability of the states to do this job well on broader problems, like health care and banking. Our state and federal legislators are admittedly  often more interested in preserving the status quo than becoming more effective with our money. They have sat silent for too many years while problems escalated in plain sight. That is why we should be protesting for reform rather than against paying taxes.  I don't think anyone would want the amount of dysfunction that would occurr if we had almost no federal government.

Anger is motivating, but ultimately destructive. What we need is constructive dialogue and consensus building, followed by real change.   


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