Tag Archives: Taxes

What She Said

George Lakoff makes a similar point in his book Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

Taxation is paying your dues, paying your membership fee in America. If you join a country club or a community center, you pay fees. Why? You did not build the swimming pool. You have to maintain it. You did not build the basketball court. Someone has to clean it. You may not use the squash court, but you still have to pay your dues. Otherwise it won’t be maintained and will fall apart. People who avoid taxes, like corporations that move to Bermuda, are not paying their dues to the country. It is patriotic to be a taxpayer. It is traitorous to desert our country and not pay your dues.

Perhaps Bill Gates Sr. said it best. In arguing to keep the inheritance tax, he pointed out that he and Bill Jr. did not invent the Internet. They just used it — to make billions. There is no such thing as a self-made [person]. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the Treasury and Commerce Departments, the judicial system, where nine-tenths of the cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers paid for. The owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

I’m not sure what’s so complicated about that. Democrats (and other people who love America) ought to start repeating it every single time they get a chance. And they get a lot of chances.