Published in The Record, November 17th
Regarding: “If you want services, pay taxes” (The Record: Your Views, Nov. 15):
The letter writer asserts that people should stop complaining about taxes because they – taxes – pay for schools, police, garbage, pickup etc., but commits an egregious misconception about these services. Namely, that they must be paid for by using coercion, which is the essence of taxation.
Businesses provide us with a multitude of goods and services that we pay for voluntarily. Businesses have to persuade us to purchase their goods and services – and we have choices among numerous sellers. Not so with government. Government forces us to pay for their service even though parents, for example, must pay twice for public schools if they send their children to an independent school or home school their education. And let’s not forget childless couples who are forced to pay for the education of other families, even though they do not “consume” public schools.
So based on the letter writer’s criteria, people should not pay taxes to the government for services they do not use. After all, when we shop at the mall or online, we are not forced to pay for other people’s needs. It should be no different when it comes to government services.