Opinion » Letters

Spread the wealth




 My family had the distinct pleasure of recently visiting Hawaii.  Because of a tsunami scare, we watched TV more than usual while on vacation. A news clip featured a judge admonishing a local entertainer who had just been convicted of tax evasion. The judge said, and I paraphrase, “You have been convicted of tax evasion, but you are guilty of stealing from your community. Your lack of tax dollars took food from the hungry, shelter for the homeless, teachers for our children, and other vital government programs that help our community. You should be ashamed!” What an unexpected lesson about taxes in an unexpected time and place!

Coming from a state that refuses to raise taxes on those who can pay more ($250,000 net income), on corporations who can pay more, and having gone through another budget crisis, those words were a shock. The political fundamentalist anti-tax view is that taxes are bad, no questions asked: They are bad and lead to socialism—which could include calling the fire department or police, or using Medicare; services that are tax-dollar-supported socialism. The anti-tax fundamentalist mindset is unwavering regardless of the economic times we are in and how our tax dollars could really help those in desperate need.  

The rhetoric by fundamentalist, anti-tax people to prevent any government spending is causing great harm to our democracy. We used to be taught that a society was only as strong as its weakest link. This anti-tax rhetoric and sanctions based on it are creating a nation of weak links under the guise of preventing socialism. 

 Let’s get rid of this notion that taxes are bad.  What they are used for can be bad. We need to elect people who understand the distinction.  We do not need people who refuse to raise taxes for any reason. This is political fundamentalism at its worst.

-- Shirley Bianchi - Cambria

-- Shirley Bianchi - Cambria

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