Harvard Dems Chat with Senator Tim Wirth!
Posted 4/12/13 by Jacob CarrelRead post »
Posted 10/25/10 by Collin VanOstran Andrew Seo
With all the media attention the Tea Party has received, it is easy to feel as if all Americans have become obsessed with lowering taxes.
Thus, we were pleasantly surprised this morning to read an article entitled “Grad Student Urges Tax Pride” in the Crimson. The article discusses graduate student Vanessa Williamson’s new website, a non-for-profit blog that highlights the benefits of taxes and encourages enthusiasm for effective tax and spend programs.
The site is a reminder to us that other Americans understand the place of taxes in our government; while they are not fun to pay, they are essential to a strong nation. It is not surprising taxes are not viewed with such high esteem by most because taxes are not exactly a winning issue for politicians to discuss.
This was seen in 2008 when Biden said “It’s time to be patriotic … Time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut,” while discussing taxes increases for the wealthiest Americans. The McCain camp quickly reacted, as then vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said, ”To the rest of America, that’s not patriotism. Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse.”
Really? Raising taxes is about hurting small businesses? Last time we checked, the goal of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is not to “make things worse,” but rather to pool money to make things better. And the last time Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman checked, cutting taxes on the wealthy is not such a good thing after all.
The truth is that the majority of Americans will not serve in the military or hold a government position. Voter turnout in America has historically been low compared to other democracies. For many of us, paying taxes is one of the few civic responsibilities we will fulfill. It if for this reason that we agree with Vice President Biden when he calls paying taxes “patriotic.”
The “I Heart Taxes” site illustrates how taxes make society better by posting everyday success stories—and some not so ordinary ones. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that the police, libraries, roads, schools, national defense are all funded through taxes. The list goes on and on.
As educated and progressive Americans, let’s start calling taxes what they are—even if it isn’t always easy. But, since when has patriotism been easy?
P.S. One week until Election Day!