To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, August 19, 2019

Let’s Talk Taxes

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BY SHARON MARTIN

Nobody likes to pay taxes.

Nobody likes to pay mortgage payments or rent, either, but we want the security of roof and walls.

Taxes are a necessary part of a democracy. It’s the money we all throw into the pot. In return, we expect infrastructure and services that serve the common good. We can expect, but these days we don’t always get.

Laws and Supreme Court decisions have made corruption legal.

Combine this with the obscene cost of running a campaign, and you have the formula for destroying democracy. Candidates have no choice but to spend a good deal of their time raising money. The easiest path to a fat campaign coffer isn’t thousands of small donors but a handful of wealthy ones.

How likely do you think it is that powerful organizations and billionaire donors give out of the goodness of their hearts, to promote the common good? They give with expectations of something in return, and the GOP delivers, with tax cuts for those who don’t need them and decreased services for the rest of us.

In case you haven’t noticed, our wages aren’t going up, but the cost of living is. The costs of a good education and adequate healthcare are beyond the means of too many people. We are not better off.

When high earners and corporations pay less, workers don’t get a raise, they get new fees, taxes in disguise, to make up the difference. We get crumbling infrastructure, larger class sizes, more homeless on the streets, and shuttered rural hospitals.

Voting is the only way we have to take our country back from those who rule with their wealth. And we better do it now while we still have some voting rights left.

Here’s the battle we must fight in the next year and a half: we have to figure out why so many hardworking people, so many poor people, refuse to acknowledge the damage that cutting taxes on the top earners does to them and to the country.

We have to understand why so many people vote for trickle-down economics, and even after they’ve been trickled on, go back and do it again.

How do we educate people about economics?

How do we spread the promise of America that the founding fathers envisioned for white men and extend that promise to everyone?

The job of government in a democracy is to tax the people and return the taxes in services that provide for the common good – safe roads, clean water, security, education, shared spaces, access to healthcare.

Voting for fair taxation and tackling corruption is in the best interest of at least 90% of tax-paying Americans. Only when those at the top pay their fair share and the plutocrats don’t buy legislators will we have the resources we need to tackle all the other important issues.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. Her latest book, Not A Prodigal, is available through Barnes and Noble. Her recent children’s book, Froggy Bottom Blues, can be purchased in hardcover or paperback from Doodle and Peck Publishingand in paperback from Amazon.

Sharon Martin
Sharon Martin
Educator & OEA member Sharon Martin lives in Oilton and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer.