Taxes For Everyone

It's not a sarcastic assessment of the Obama Economy --10% of the people pay 75% of taxes and 50% of us pay no tax at all (a nation of moochers says P.J. O'Rourke). It's a proposal. Ask Mr. W., I've long held --hopelessly, I realize-- that every one, even the poor, should pay taxes. The amount could be minimal (symbolic), but anyone not paying into the system is likely to have less interest in where public funds go. The best way to get folks to pay attention would be for everyone to pay in.

I don't even like our withholding system. People should get their full checks and then --presuming we want to keep the convenient employer collection system-- turn around and write checks to the federal government and state for taxes-- so we'd all see, every pay period, exactly how much of our sweat equity is taken out for taxes.

(During Lent I used a series of examinations of conscience taken from "Self-Delusion & True Contrition" written by Alfred Wilson, C.P. in the 1940s. One of the questions was
Have I chosen to forget that public money comes out of my neigbours' pockets and that no government can produce money by magic?
As an examination of conscience to prepare for personal confession! How the world has changed.)

Asking the poor to pay taxes is so politically unviable --though necessary to the common good, I think-- that I'd have considered it folly even to bring it up in public. But Ari Fleishcher does in this morning's WSJ, as part of a series of proposals for an "economic growth code."

Speaking of taxes, go here to find your "tea party." There's one, eg, on April 15th in front of the Treasury Dept. in my burg.