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The Moral Case for Taxes

by David Doody


Tags: Elizabeth Warren, taxes, capitalism, politics, The New Republic, David Doody,

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Playing off of Elizabeth Warren’s widely publicized quote about taxes (see picture above), the editors at The New Republic take the argument one step further, making a moral case for paying them. Their defense of taxation hinges on two arguments. “The first is distributional,” write the editors. “A civilized society recognizes [that capitalism will create losers as well as winners, often because of forces beyond any individual’s control] and vows to mitigate” that problem. “The second reason we need taxes isn’t about the least fortunate; it’s about public goods.” This is the point Warren made, and the editors at TNR make the same point, asking, “Could Bill Gates have made his fortune without government-financed education and technology?”

It’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to taxes. Even the most liberal among us may scoff at their property taxes from year to year. The New Republic’s editorial is a good reminder that, indeed, “Taxes are an act of citizenship. We should all be proud to pay them.”

Source: The New Republic (article only available to subscribers)