Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: "I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization."Ok, Tom, a couple things:
- Every time you bring up your own middle classness, you should probably add "of course now I'm a fantastically wealthy globe-trotting author!"
- His point about Minneapolis is kind of true. The liberalism of that town is strong enough that we're sure the "middle class" there does view tax-paying as a patriotic duty! But that liberalism does not extend to the first- and second-ring suburbs that make up the huge base of anti-tax Republicans like Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, nor does that attitude extend to the "middle class" in demographically similar cities in the rest of the country.
- Because when you are truly middle class, paying taxes is not simply an annoyance, like it is for fantastically wealthy authors; it is actually a burden. Sometimes it is a great burden that prevents you from being comfortably middle class! You should brush up on your Fear of Falling, Mr. Friedman. Or maybe you should just read it for the very first time, Mr. Globalization Will Solve All Our Problems!
- Related: when you are middle class, a lot of your money is likely to be tied up in your home! Right now is not a great time for your money to be tied up in your home. (Or in the stock market! Or your 401(k)! Or anywhere but GOLD.)
- All that said, shifting the tax burden off the middle class and back onto the wealthy, like in those wonderful Great Society days, is a Good Thing that should be done right away. But no one can explicitly say this because we still need to pretend it's the 1990s?