Editorial: Tax revenue is shared

Published 10:05 am Friday, June 29, 2012

We are weary of hearing people make this type of argument in reference to taxes:

“I don’t like my money paying for (insert controversial expense here).”

The controversial expense ranges from abortion to contraceptives to war to fighter jets to teachers having summers off to you name it. Anything under the sun, it seems.

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The argument is flawed because the money collected for taxes does not belong to one person. It is not “my money.” Tax revenue, in America, belongs to the people as a whole. It is our money. Government, be it schools, counties, cities, states or federal, is the structure by which we debate how to spend that shared money and how it executes the services we collectively want.

It’s fine to say they don’t like spending taxes for the women’s health care organizations that perform abortions. It’s fine to say they don’t like taxes paying for wars. But let’s not pretend that tax money belongs to any one person. Please stop claiming taxes are “my money.”

Why? Simple. Once the funds leave your possession, they stop being yours. That holds true when making a purchase at a store or paying bills — or paying taxes.

The right we have in America is that once the taxes are taken from us, we have a say in what our government does with the money. In many countries, the people do not.

So let’s be grown-ups and not talk about taxes like children whining over candy. The argument of “what’s best for the country” sure has a better ring to it than “my money.”