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Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society

A recent writer decried taxation as a form of theft. Theft entails taking from someone without permission, and getting nothing in return.

U.S. citizens have invested in their duly elected officials the right to tax (see Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution). Although some individuals may object, collectively the people give consent for their federal, state and local governments to collect taxes for the good of all.

To enumerate the most obvious, the federal government provides for national security (the military, CIA, FBI); a well-maintained interstate road system; regulations and inspection to provide safe foods, water, medicines and work conditions; the printing of money; medical research and disease control; veterans’ care and benefits; plus many other benefits.

State and local governments provide for free public schools, road and bridge maintenance, trash collection, parks, libraries, support for cultural organizations, snow removal, water quality, animal control, etc.

In 1904, a very wise Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, said that, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” If you do not want to pay taxes, then perhaps you should go live in a cave.

Michael Silverman

Amherst