Being a good conservative I support the adoption and implementation of good taxes that promote growth in our economy, taxes that lead to more prosperity for our people, and taxes that cannot be raised too high by Congress.
There, I feel better now. The Sun is shining and Life is good!
But wait…there’s a small problem………there are no such “good taxes” known to exist. All taxes reduce productivity, all taxes punish the industrious and reward (even if only indirectly) the lazy, and all taxes confiscate wealth from the workers and innovators who earned it.
What are our options?
1. We disband the government thereby removing the need for taxation.
But since we are mainly conservatives around here as opposed to anarchists, I don’t think that idea is acceptable so that leaves….
2. We support taxes which by their nature spread the pain as fairly as possible with as little damage to our productivity and freedoms as possible.
I’m not an economist but it seems to me the best chance to achieve the goals of productivity, fairness, and freedom, is a mixture of different types of taxes.
Income taxes by their nature hit only people who work and necessitate a massive bureaucracy to make sure (snort) no one cheats.
Capital gains taxes by their nature hit only people who have money to invest and also require a massive bureaucracy to make sure no one cheats.
Sales taxes hit everyone and because they are collected by businesses the government bureaucracy has fewer possible cheats to worry about and very few businesses as a percentage bother trying to avoid passing sales tax revenue on to the government. Sales taxes make everything cost more but then all taxes do that.
Property taxes hit only those who own property and why exactly should you be required to pay the government year after year to maintain ownership of the same property?
Obviously there are other categories of taxes but my point is simply that all taxes have negatives. No taxes are pure yummy goodness. They are all bad, and some are badder than others when they are misapplied.
So that brings us to another problem: No one knows what the exact perfect cocktail of taxes is. There are a million theories and some of them seem to make sense but what the most beneficial mix consists of is unknowable.
What I do know is that the current system stinks and it can’t be fixed by spritzing some election year perfume on it. The system has to be torn down and rebuilt from the bottom up or we are just wasting our time on temporary fixes.
Meanwhile if all conservatives can do is bleep and moan when one of our own floats an innovative idea to fix the system, then maybe we all deserve to suffer the status quo.