Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 14 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/15/13

The Upside of Taxes

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   No comments
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (15 fans)

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

April 15 has never been considered a day for celebration, and it's especially tough to pay taxes when so many of us are struggling financially.

But the real problem isn't taxation. Our real problem is the new "bipartisan" drive toward austerity, a mad obsession which runs against the 75-year political consensus of both political parties. Once our leaders understood government's vital role in a healthy economy.

No more, apparently. Today's new corporate-sponsored cost-cutting craze is merely the latest policy designed to enrich a powerful few at the expense of the many, and today's anti-tax agenda is being used to make sure it succeeds.

Taxes provide us with many important services, often far more cheaply and efficiently than the private sector. It wouldn't be painful to pay taxes in a well-managed economy where everyone prospered. The thriving America of the 1950s and 1960s had top tax rates as high as 91 percent, and those taxes helped create the prosperity that's so sorely lacking today.

Still, many people are undoubtedly asking themselves this April 15: What have taxes ever done for me?

If You Can Read This ...

Public education probably helped you learn to read. And when you find anything on the Internet, you're using technology invented with tax dollars. Taxes bring other benefits too, too numerous to mention, including the greatest one of all:

You're alive. You haven't died of smallpox or any of the other diseases which are restrained by tax-funded public health programs. You haven't been crushed inside a collapsing building, mangled by a grain solo, or met any of the other grisly deaths prevented by tax-funded safety programs.

You didn't burn to death in a home that was never inspected for fire hazards, trapped helplessly as the flames rose and knowing there were no firefighters available to answer your call. You and your significant other weren't shot down like Batman's parents on the streets of an under-policed and lawless metropolis.

These benefits, along with thousands of others, are abstract and easy to forget, especially when paying your taxes is such a concrete experience.

It's an experience that isn't always shared by our largest corporations.

Free Riders

Citizens for Tax Justice has a list of corporations that don't pay a penny in taxes. They make a fortune from our taxes, which provide them with an educated workforce, intellectual property protection, lucrative government contracts, physical safety, and hundreds of technologies designed and built at government expense

They get all those things, free of charge, from us.

General Electric. Boeing. Corning. Wells Fargo. They're among the many corporations that have gone at least one or more years without paying any Federal taxes. Together they made $205 billion in pre-tax profits and paid a negative rate over a four-year period.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend