47% of American households pay ZERO income taxes

47% will pay ZERO Federal income taxes in 2009.  This statistic is one of the primary reasons for America’s desperate economic situation.  You know that if that many pay nothing, many, many more pay next to nothing.  When so many have little or no stake in whether the government should tax more, the natural inclination of unscrupulous politicians will be to tax and spend more.  When those who will be hurt by higher taxes are out-numbered by those who will not have to pay any taxes and who will benefit by higher spending, taxes and spending go up.

The system is rigged against us.  Four changes would instantly bring us back to fiscal conservatism.  1) Make everyone who earns money pay taxes. No exceptions. 2) Eliminate tax withholdings from paychecks.  Everybody has to experience the pain of stroking a big fat check to the IRS on April 15th.  3) Anybody who does not pay taxes does not get to vote. Period. 

The fourth change deserves its own paragraph.  4) Eliminate all other taxes other than the income tax.  Americans are hit by so many taxes that they are nickle and dimed to death by taxes that individually seem so petty that they aren’t worth fighting about, but which collectively steal great deals of our money.  Which the Government subsequently wastes. Phone tax. Gas tax.  Sales tax (when you buy and again when you sell). Property tax. Real estate tax. Hotel tax. Meal tax. Tolls. Licenses.  It’s death by a thousand cuts.

If these changes were made, suddenly, Americans would be outraged when taxes increased.  Suddenly, Americans would be outraged wasteful spending. Suddenly, Americans would demand that their elected representatives not spend like drunken sailors and drive up our deficit. Because the deficit would be owned by everybody, instead of just “some other dude”, or”the rich.”

Harsh? Maybe. Radical. I suppose.  But those who do not pay taxes should not have a say in how America spends its money.  Under this system, would Americans become selfish and cut benefits of those who truly need them? I doubt it. Americans never shirk from helping those in need.  Perhaps I would allow an exception for those who truly are disabled. But not for those who just choose not to work in order to avoid paying taxes.

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