Refocusing the issue. Over at Hot Air last night, J.E. Dyer reminds us taxes and the methods of taxation should not be driven by the concept of making things right, rather taxes should simply be used to pay for government. What a concept!
After reading Dyer’s first two short paragraphs, I knew she was on to something. If there is anything you read today, this should be it.
The proper purpose of taxes is not to establish a condition of “fairness.” It’s to pay for government: a legislature, executive, military, police, firefighting, courts, schools. But for 100 years now, the percentage-based income tax has been shifting public dialogue on taxes steadily away from their proper purpose, and toward increasingly juvenile arguments over “fairness,” as if the tax code is like Mom, telling Makayla to share the toys and be patient because Brendan is little.
If we let taxation be about “fairness,” rather than paying for the cost of government, the two big problems we have are defining “fairness,” and defining the role of government in promoting it. Those questions will never be settled to the satisfaction of all.