J.E. Dyer: Taxes should not be used to create a condition of “fairness”

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.

Read it all.

13 replies
  1. JBS
    JBS says:

    I agree that taxes should be spent on essential government. We certainly need to abolish the social aspects of the government, such as Department of Education or the U.S. AbilityOne Commission. We, the government, spend sooooo much money on departments, agencies, commissions and boards that are not defined in the Constitution that it is a crime. Our taxes would be far less if the government were restructured to what is legally defined. That would be “fairer” and a much leaner less intrusive government.
    On the subject of fairness, a flat tax would be “fairer.” While taxes are not fair, even in a perfect scheme, it would be nice if they were equitable.
    With a flat tax and a restructured government, all of those tax atorneys and accountants, along with legions of bereauocrats could find something better to do with their time.

    • Eric
      Eric says:

      I’d like to be on the restructuring committee! ?Cutting unnecessary government is a specialty of mine. ?Cutting unnecessary bureaucratic BS should be at the top of the list.

  2. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    I want a flat tax rate that everyone pays no matter his income. I also support legalizing marijuana and taxing it so Obama supporters will play their “fair share.”

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    To liberals, “fairness” equals “social justice”, i.e. “he/she has something and I don’t, and I want government to take it away from them to punish them, and give it to me, to reward me.”? Effectively, it is the argument of a four year old.
    Robin Hood was still a crook, even though he effectively stole from the government.

    • JBS
      JBS says:

      So much of the Democrat’s playbook is at a four-year-old’s level. Class warfare is just a charade to fool people into thinking they care all the while going about business as usual, pillaging the Treasury and usurping power.

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      “Robin Hood was still a crook, even though he effectively stole from the government.”
      A point I hear mangled by liberals and democrats all the time.

  4. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    “Magic, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of? all?”
    Just as the wicked queen commanded the huntsman to kill Snow White for her own? vanity, taxes are the “huntsman” seeking to cut the heart from the producers to, in turn, deliver to the looters.

  5. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    I highly doubt that any standard of “fairness” is at the heart of higher taxes but the convenience economic crisis has enabled fairness and equitability to surface as grassroots issues as they have seen some of the better off weather the storm more easily- which is to be expected.? It creates a social environment that lends itself to class envy/warfare tactics on the part of government as a pretext for increasing taxes on everyone.
    Life ain’t fair- never has been and never will be.? We can choose to be victims or we can choose accept the unique challenges we face by our own efforts without demanding arbiter of fairness a government that couldn’t care less about fairness except where it can exploit it for its own purposes.
    Instead of trying to justify robbing from the rich how about making government affordable for the working class for whom the rich provide jobs?

  6. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    J. E. Dyer has given us a perfectly elegant description of “Newspeak” which George Orwell foretold in his novel “1984) ( not really fiction, it is becoming truer every day).

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