On Taxes

The question of the day after last night’s debate (October 15, 2019) is “Will we have to pay more in taxes after January 2021?” The answer is Yes.

Why? Well, for one thing, for the last four years the Russian-elected government, the Reds, have given billions in tax breaks and removed price regulations–a gift to the oil companies, to big pharma, to the largest corporations like GM, and to billionaires who paid for their seats in the Senate and House. So now the country is trillions in debt with no end in sight for a solution–other than to raise taxes.

71% of the people in this country want a better healthcare system, to get out from under insurers who don’t pay for the ever-more expensive procedures and drugs we all need to stay alive. Without money shifting around, we will not be able to afford it. Yes, this means higher taxes, but it also means you won’t be paying even higher premiums, co-pays, and out of pocket costs to meet deductibles and stuff insurance does not cover like your teeth and your vision. So yes, you might pay $5000 more in taxes but not have to pay $8000 in healthcare expenses. Neither will your union or your company or your parents.

The Reds don’t want this to happen. They’re already flooding the TV shows you watch (even the debates) with fear-mongering ads to frighten you away from a solution that cuts out the insurance companies and forces drug manufacturers to charge fair prices for lifesaving drugs like insulin.

Listening to the debate last night, I heard one idea after another to solve this problem but only one seemed to be holding on to a variation of the old system. Nope, I’m not going to bash any candidates at this point–it’s still way too early.

Here, closer to home in Washington State, we are also struggling with tax issues on this November’s ballot. There are proposals to overturn the (really expensive) car-tab fees–this is another one of Tim Eyman’s proposals which have crippled the state’s ability to keep roads and bridges repaired right in the poorer districts which voted for these tax-cutting measures. People at every lower-to-middle level of the economy are struggling. The wealthy among us, not so much, but there are those out there, myself included, who want to use their accumulated wealth for good, to help those in the most need. Many embrace higher taxes–to pay our way. I think taxing gas might not make sense any longer (especially not in the future) but a road use tax might be more equitable.

I also heard that the “wealth tax” proposed last night has not worked in much of Europe who faces similar revenue and wealth-equity fairness issues. Instead, they have chosen to use a VAT (Value Added Tax) which is tantamount to a Federal Sales Tax. We have Sales Tax here in Washington State (about 10% here in Redmond) which I gladly pay. These taxes pay for some of the best socialized systems in the country. Systems like the police, the fire departments, the public schools, the courts, and the other systems we all need and pay for with our taxes. Yes, that’s socialism.

Taxes are essential to help keep our ever-more-costly infrastructure working. Take the 520 bridge as an example. It was originally built over Lake Washington in 1963 and paid for with a toll. Once the bridge was paid off, they tore down the toll booths due to public demand–I think that was short-sighted. IMHO, if they had not, the replacement bridge would have been paid for when it was needed in 2011 nearly fifty years later. Taxes, when collected and invested wisely in our future, can work in our, everyone’s favor. While my trip over the 520 bridge cost me $7.00 to visit Fred in Seattle last night, it was worth it. The new bridge (while the west-end approaches are still under construction) is safer, more stable, and less likely to sink in a storm. That takes millions of tax dollars.

Taxes are the lifeblood that keeps our country’s infrastructure working.

Every day we demand better, wider roads, or better trains, buses and bridges to get us to work and the Seahawks game. And still, those who are working hand-to-mouth push back on higher taxes–that’s understandable. Actually, I don’t mind paying a bit more so they aren’t as burdened–I’m one of those who can afford it. What I do mind is waste and short-sighted policies which delay work and make projects more expensive in the long run. I also mind giving massively profitable companies enormous unearned, undeserved tax breaks as this revenue could be put toward programs that enrich society, improve our health and well-being, and get our kids cared for and educated. I mind spending trillions on “defense” where entire continents of nations don’t spend (and waste) a fraction of what we spend (and lose) on the military.

Taxes are a necessary force for good. Or they can be.

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