Taxpayers receive plenty in return

To reach a letter writer’s conclusion, one must be totally blind to the services provided by all levels of government. I challenge him and other like-minded citizens to provide their own streets, roads, bridges, safe water supply, policing, military, education facilities, public parks, financial support after disabling illness or accident and oversight of utilities, banks and health care, just to name a few. If people should try such herculean tasks on their own, they would soon find that banding together, designating some individuals to carry out each task and sharing the costs is the only way to live in a successful society.

A tax is defined as a sum of money levied on income, property or sales, by a government for services it provides. The taxpayer gets plenty of value in return. That is not theft. If the writer, as he suggests, demanded 15 percent of the neighbor’s income and he provided the neighbor with all the services he needed, his “tax” would be justified. There is nothing inherently immoral about requiring payment for services. Furthermore, the Bible has no place in the governmental policy questions of this nation of immigrants of all faiths from all over the world. And I’m not addressing whether his interpretation is well-supported or not.

I would like to add a comment on a related battle-cry issue: that government is too big and smaller is automatically better. The important question is to first determine what services the public needs and then determine the numbers of people and agencies necessary to fill those needs.

Lucy Ryan