Here’s a quote from the Center for a Better South‘s booklet "Doing Better: Progressive Tax Reform for the American South." (Full disclosure: I haven’t read the booklet. Ain’t gonna. It costs $10.) But here’s a quote from the Introduction:
Nobody likes taxes. But taxes get a bad rap. Like them or not, taxes are not something that should be vilified because of their very nature. Instead, people might consider looking at them in another light — as the necessary price we pay to keep our democracy alive. Taxes are the price of our freedom. Imagine what we wouldn’t have if taxes didn’t fuel government programs and services.
Sounds like a leaf taken straight from the George Lakoff bible of selling socialism to dummies.
But taxes are neither "membership fees" a la Lakoff, nor are they merely the price of freedom. If all we were buying was our freedom, we’d have police protection, a standing army, and maybe – maybe – some roads. The marginal rate would be around 10 percent. But when I "Imagine what we wouldn’t have if taxes didn’t fuel government programs and services," I imagine a world without subsidized dependency, bureaucracy, special interest capture, inefficiency, waste, government-induced poverty, useless functionaries, and nannies breathing down our necks at every turn.