It’s hard to understand why normal, ordinary people defend the rich and privileged. Perhaps it’s because they think — just maybe — someday I’ll be a multimillionaire, too. Maybe even a billionaire! How else can one explain this kind of thinking?
In their recent letters to the Payson Roundup, both Donald Cline and Jim Gier impugn my attitude and comments regarding true patriotism. They would be better off retaking a course in civics. According to Webster, civics is “the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.”
They seem to intimate that if you’re rich, you have some kind of a “right” to pay a lesser portion of your income in taxes than other citizens. I happen to disagree. That doesn’t mean that I have a bad attitude.
The truly rich didn’t earn all that bread in a vacuum; they owe back to the context that allowed them to become wealthy. That means carrying their fair share of the load to keep America strong. It doesn’t mean using your wealth to buy politicians that make rules that allow you to pay less than your fair share.
True patriots don’t hate the government of the United States. They’re proud of it. Generations of Americans have risked their lives to preserve it. They may not like everything it does, and they justifiably worry when special interests gain too much power over it. But true patriots work to improve the U.S. government, not destroy it.
When arguing against paying their fair share of taxes, the wealthy claim, “it’s my money.” But it’s their nation, too. And unless they pay their share, America can’t meet the basic needs of our people. True patriotism means paying for America.