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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of January 15 - 21, 2003


The taxes we
love to hate

Hating taxes is so ingrained in the national psyche that to find someone who admits he likes to pay taxes would trigger a "Man Bites Dog" headline in newspapers nationwide.

Consequently, the nation is full of vote-seeking politicians who call for tax cuts as reflexively as they kiss babies and mug for cameras.

President Bush is one of them.

While calling on the nation to sustain a long-term war on terrorism in the middle of a deep recession, Bush is pushing for $59 billion in tax cuts, particularly on upper incomes. With other tax credits, the cuts could total $98 billion annually

Instead of turning on the president and alleging that he is out of his mind, Democrats are pushing a "me too" plan of smaller, more equitable tax cuts.

Reasons for the cuts are sprouting like dandelions in the spring. Like dandelions, they look beautiful, but may be bitter when consumed.

The proposed cuts ignore the facts. Spending in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center has already gobbled up surpluses, and the nation is beginning to rack up deficits.

Tax cuts are being offered up on the altar of the economy in hopes that Americans will take the money, spend it and get the country out of the recession.

This would be great if it worked, but the theorists who insist it will work donít like to talk about a major hitch: Americans could just as easily stuff the extra money in their mattresses or simply pay off their big credit card balances.

Tax cuts today are nonsensical pandering to a nation that loves to hate taxes and complain about "big government."

Complaining is fun, but the nation needs a little dose of reality.

Americans should contemplate paying no taxes at all.

Aside from the obvious risk of having no military, other negative impacts of eradicating taxes would be huge.

If companies wanted to get products to market, they would first have to finance roads and airports.

Neighborhoods would have to hold bake sales to get snow plowed from their roads.

Portapotties could become a growth industry if private donations didnít keep the sewer plants running.

A drink of water could become very expensive and getting one could require days of effort.

People who couldnít afford private security guards would have to become vigilantes.

Paying no taxes is obvious nonsense, but so are tax cuts in the face of enormous new threats to national security and the economy.

Letís quit complaining and pay up. We can argue about fairness, equity and where the money is spent all day long. But woe to us if we ever get rid of the taxes we love to hate.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.