Monday, November 10, 2008

Well if Melissa Etheridge Isn't Paying Taxes, Does that Mean None of Us Have To?

Election week provides far more blog-fodder than regular old Mondays, and I'm having trouble thinking of good things to write about. Actually, I don't have trouble thinking of ideas, I have trouble remembering ideas. I used to carry around a little composition book that I would write all sorts of things in. Perhaps I'll have to bring back that practice.

In other news, Melissa Etheridge has decided to stop paying her taxes until she's allowed to get married in California. I appreciate her tenacity, really I do, but is that really the best way to solve things? Not to mention, at the risk of getting all lawyer-y on you, it's not a legally supportable action, so really all that would happen is she'd end up in court for tax evasion, wasting even more tax payer money for a lawsuit that she knew full well wouldn't enact the ends she was looking for.

I realize that taxes are like our favorite thing as citizens of the United States to complain about, but I, for one, am happy to pay my taxes as long as I trust the person who's writing the checks. And, because that person has switched to someone who is presumably at least equally interested in social programs as he is with the wars we've created, I feel pretty good about the 15% tax that I will pay this year. I'll feel even better about the 35% I will pay if and when I start making $357,700 a year. I don't mean this to sound all liberally and holier-than-thou (although I'm aware of my propensity to come across that way), I just believe that sometimes people do have enough money and while the conservatives can scream from the rooftops about how this "redistribution" is code for socialism, I don't really care because it's gotta be better than what we've got now.

I'm a strong believer in the progressive tax system because I believe that the people at the top have a moral and legal responsibility to look after and provide for the people at the bottom. It has worked historically, and although there have obviously been major problems with some social services, the general idea that FDR set forth in his New Deals is one that continues to thrive, regardless of what the right tries to tell you.

While they'll try to tell you that welfare just allows for lazy people to milk the system (or they just come right out and say what they mean, like this asswipe) the reality is that the vast majority of the people on welfare are just normal citizens who are down on their luck and need temporary support to get back on their feet. Does that mean that nobody is out to fuck over the welfare system? Of course not, but there's criminals in every system, and the obsession with demonizing anyone who asks for help has gotten wildly out of control.

They'll try to tell you that national healthcare is a bad thing because it takes the power away from individuals. However, Obama's healthcare plan doesn't change anything for those who are happy with their healthcare, it just provides it affordably for those who can't access it now. It's this twisting of information that's got everything all fucked up, and I'm excited for the opportunity for someone to finally set the country straight.

I realize that Melissa Etheridge probably didn't mean that she didn't care about poor people or children or anyone else who receives governmental funding (like, you know, EVERYONE) but not paying your taxes is not the way to fix things. Paying your taxes, funding your government so that it can function the way it's supposed to, is what will really help to change things.

I agree that things need to change, I'm just certain that there's a better way to do it.

1 comment:

mucha said...

and from those of us who've seen criminal court, wrongfully obtaining public assistance is a felony. and people get caught and prosecuted because public assistance is always underfunded and this way they can try to get some money back to give to the people who actually deserve it...