“I’m going to cut your taxes and lower government waste” — sounds good, doesn’t it? And it works — proven by the election of our Republican state and national legislature. But, at what cost?
When I was a child in the ’60s and my family lived in a two-bedroom, one-bath house and we had one car and took a one week vacation each year, my parents paid a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent. And that paid for a progressive GI Bill, a growing educational system, roads and bridges were being built, unions were growing and the middle class was thriving.
Then in the 1980s it was decided that we no longer had to pay our way and that taxes could be lowered, even though costs were actually growing. And now we have marches to protest a tax rate of 35 percent. And corporations have done even better, now they want lower taxes and subsidies and many of the highest-profit companies end up paying no taxes at all.
Those politicians that promise lower taxes don’t tell us that our already inadequate educational system will get worse and that teachers/police/firemen will be asked to sacrifice even more than they already have, and that unions will be targeted so that wages can stagnate and benefits disappear.
Our parents knew that there was a cost to maintaining our great society — and that included educating our children and caring for the elderly, poor and the sick. Maybe it is time for us to be realistic again and not give in to the allure of lower taxes at a cost we are not willing to pay.