I know that the word “taxes” has a negative connotation, and I, like most other college students, dislike seeing the impressive percentage of money being taken out of my meager salary. It is a charge not easily taken, but the taxes we pay do help in many ways, even if we’re not directly using them. People cannot pick and choose which taxes to pay or else blanket taxes (transportation, school and water systems, to name a few) would not and could not operate. Imagine if the only people who paid taxes that were given to schools were students themselves.
There is a balance that can be reached, but it seems the ignorant are the ones who keep pushing it toward “less taxes.” These are the people who vote for the candidate who says he or she will decrease taxes, and they think to themselves “Less taxes means more money for me; this is good.” Both assumptions are incorrect. The privatization of medicine, transportation, welfare, healthcare, childcare and schooling does allow one to pay for what they use, but there is no control on how much you pay. Government programs, establish a stable level of cost for programs, and if they do increase, it is directly observable in better service. Think about open competition for the services listed above. Prices would go up or down depending on the number of competitors. In addition, programs that help people who are the worst off – pensioned seniors and dirt poor – would only get funding from the generous, which is usually not enough.
I will temper some of my statements by saying that there are serious spending problems in our government. The gigantic waste of taxpayer dollars is incredible, thus validating the Republicans’ view that only you know how best to spend your money. When I started this argument I mentioned that a balance can be reached. In as few words as possible: Keep taxes the same, reform government spending for more accountability on expenditures, have an organization specifically designed to stop wasteful spending, and decrease foreign presence. Our nation has all the money it needs to fund all of the Democrat-pushed programs and keep the same tax bracket it has now if these steps are taken.
Scott Joly is an architectural engineering junior and a Mustang Daily guest columnist.