BY SHARON MARTIN
If it weren’t for taxes and tornadoes, spring would be the perfect time of year in Oklahoma. I’ve learned to live with the threat of wild weather. I think we should do something about taxes.
I don’t mind paying taxes. I want the benefits one receives from a just tax system. Here’s a short list of some of those benefits:
In America, every child is offered an education. The system isn’t perfect, but it is good. I’ve been to countries where free education isn’t provided, where hungry children beg in the streets. I’m proud to pay education dollars.
When we turn on the water tap, safe water runs. When we flip the switch, the lights come on. Access to clean water and a consistent power supply are courtesy of free enterprise and tax dollars. Capitalism and taxes are good partners.
In some countries, the military is a threat to the civilian population. Not here. Our volunteer army protects our interests worldwide, and our citizen soldiers arrive to assist victims of floods, hurricanes, and spring tornadoes.
When we travel across the country on our interstate highway system or fly on safe airplanes, we can thank our tax dollars.
What would I fix? Our tax system is too complicated. There are rules added each year, most to reward special interests. If you do your own taxes, you have to invest in an annual tax program because the rules have changed! To prepare taxes requires special training or just plain guts.
A few fixes have been proposed. The Fair Tax shifts the burden from one group of taxpayers to another, but most experts agree that taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay a higher percentage under this system. It would simplify things, but it would require some major tweaking to be truly fair.
There are progressive tax proposals in which the rich pay a higher percentage and regressive proposals in which the poor pay a higher rate. Neither of these options sounds just to me.
In the 1940s, our government assembled the best minds in the world to create nuclear weapons. However you feel about the outcome, the scientists accomplished their goal and in record time. Now, we need to assemble the best thinkers in the country to create a new tax system. Here are the only rules: it must be fair to everyone and it must be simple.
If we can figure out how to blow up the world, surely we can get this done.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer