Is paying taxes a glorious privilege? That’s what Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, said. His phrase— “glorious privilege”—has been making the rounds in the Tax Wars, most often derided and belittled. But did Woody have a point? Well, maybe paying taxes isn’t “glorious.” Paying taxes, however, is the price (some might say privilege) of citizenship in a modern democracy. “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Do you agree with Wilson? With Holmes?
Do the opponents of taxes want something for nothing? They want schools, roads, and national defense. They want consumer protection. Homeland security. Medicare. But they don’t want to pay for it.
It’s a widely perpetrated fiscal delusion: You can have it, but you don’t have to pay for it.
The Senate yesterday added to this fiscal delusion, chalking up well over the 60 votes needed to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone. What do you think W is saying in his multi-million dollar Dallas home?
Perhaps Will Rogers had this in perspective: Referring to the income tax, he said, “It has made more liars out of the American people than golf.”
Now that it looks like the extension of tax cuts for everyone will pass the Senate, do you want the House to do likewise?