It seems to me not enough people complain about taxes, especially at the federal level. I’ve always liked these words from Samuel Johnson, the great 18th century English writer:
By the 1770s, American colonists were probably the lowest taxed people in the history of the human race, and they resented every penny.
In comparison and rather depressingly, half of Americans say their current tax burden is “just right.” That makes sense in many respects because the top 20 percent of income earners shoulder about 87 percent of the federal tax burden. Additionally, because of automatic withholdings, many Americans are simply ignorant of just how much taxes they pay. Imagine if the vast majority of us actually have to get out a checkbook and physically write a check to the IRS for the entire amount owed at tax time. It would probably cause a mass revolution against the federal government.
During the Conservative Leadership Conference last weekend, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint made an important point that the federal government is going to have to get out of a lot of things to restore sanity on federal spending. No doubt that is true to ease the appetite for revenue as well. Tax cuts at the federal level must be coupled with real spending cuts and returning more power and authority to the states.
At any rate, continued deficits and a horrific debt only exacerbate the government’s quest for more and more revenue, which will cripple future generations. Talk about a great contemporary example of “taxation without representation,” all those too young to vote and unborn citizens who will get stuck with mammoth tax bills.
Fortunately, North Carolina is doing the responsible and good government thing by lessening our tax burden. Afterall, the purpose of government, at least by design in our American system, is to protect our property and rights.
It is going to have to take more and more of the citizenry to realize our federal government is broken to ease the tax burdens we face. It’s still probably been less than a hundred years that Americans primarily thought of the federal government first when they think of government. We have to get back to that place again where it was primarily local and state government. It’s going to take more than stagnant political thinking though. It will require a massive cultural shift, where people realize the depth of brokenness and bankruptcy that permeates our federal government.