March 28th, 2007
A Hoy Hoy,
The independent US Tax Foundation today announced Wisconsin’s 2007 Tax Freedom Day. The day when we finally have earned enough money to pay off our federal, state and local taxes will be May 2, 2007, four days later than 2006 (April 28). Wisconsin ranks 13th worst, and has a later Tax Freedom Day than Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa. Read it and weep by clicking here. In recognition of our plight, allow me to mount my soapbox and denounce the canard that tax increases are courageous. In fact, tax increases are cowardly.
The underlying justification to raise taxes may be different: economic downturn or a new social ill (“rickets epidemic grips the state”). My favorite excuse is those that blame their predecessors’ mismanagement, e.g. “the guy before me got to spend any way he wanted, why can’t I?” Regardless of the cause, the solution is always the same. The tax increaser will solemnly announce over their bit lower lip that government must find the necessary resources, people need to sacrifice, but this time it will be fair and temporary. The editorial boards will echo the settlement and the special interest groups will deify the tax increaser for their “heroic risk taking” and “conscience.” If past history is any indication, a really big tax increase can be rewarded with the JFK Profile in Courage.
What a bunch of Hooey!
Tax increases are not courageous because they avoid tough choices and having to say No. It is not courageous to deflect responsibility for failing at your job with the resources provided. It is not courageous to point to your fellow man and declare that he is not doing enough. In it not courageous to arbitrarily single out someone and expect them to give more just because they happen to sell real estate, or make gasoline, or receive an inheritance, or invest fortuitously, or smoke cigarettes, or hunt or fish. Tax increases were once courageous. Back when the Sheriff of Nottingham personally went to the village and took a goat from the serf as tribute to the Throne, at least he had to dodge the occasional arrow from Robin Hood or risk being tarred and feathered. These days, tax increasers rely on an employer’s payroll department, or the store cashier, or assorted bureaucrats to do their bidding. Tax increases are cowardly.
It is those who pay the taxes that are courageous, because they must make the tough choices, whether to expand their small business or save for retirement or pursue an education or buy a home after the government takes more. If a public servant wants to be courageous, they would oppose tax increases. It is courageous to admit that government will not be able to do something, even something that it used to do. It is courageous to lay off public employees when there is not enough money to pay them. It is courageous to be called mean-spirited. That would be a profile in courage.
Be Seeing You.,
The Overtaxed Pugnacious One