I will never understand how, in a democratic country, people can think of the government as a separate entity. The government is made up of people that YOU elect to serve YOUR best interests. The money they make is the money YOU pay in taxes. The money they spend is the money YOU pay in taxes.
In the United States, there is an entire party (the Republican Party) running on the idea of never, ever raising taxes for anything, ever again. What I don’t understand is, how do they expect the government to pay for things like medicare, the military, social security and their own salaries without tax money. The government is funded by tax money and tax money alone. People seem to want everything paid for by “the government” like that money doesn’t come out of the pockets of everyone living in that country. Even people who are too poor to pay income tax, are paying into the system through taxes on goods and services.
In countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and even Canada taxes are higher, but you get what you pay for. Yes, if you live in these countries, you will pay more in taxes, but the people who live in these countries are happier.
Recently, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development put put their annual report on life satisfaction in the developed world. They put out a list of the top ten happiest countries based on the following criteria: housing, income, jobs, community, education, the environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. There are many things the top ten countries have in common, but the one thing they all share is a higher tax rate than is enjoyed in the United States. So yes, Republicans, it is possible to pay more taxes and be happy… or HAPPIER even, as long as those taxes are spent on things that the people who elected you actually want, like better healthcare, more affordable education and jobs, not another needless war.
My advice to the American people is to look outside your own country for a split second to some of the countries on this list and find out why they are so happy. See what is working for them and perhaps suggest to your government representative that they try some of these things out. After all the government is YOU and YOUR tax dollars. If you don’t stand up and tell them what you want that money spent on, make them accountable, you will continue to get what you’ve been getting… a government who has forgotten who they work for.
If you are interested in reading more about the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s report, you can do so here http://247wallst.com/2012/05/22/the-happiest-countries-in-the-world-2/2/ or in slideshow format, here http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/344450/20120523/top-ten-happiest-countries-world-2012.htm#page1
6 thoughts on “Government money is YOUR money”
You have to look at the root factor in all those “happy” countries to see why they can have higher taxes. Higher taxes have to be gradual if they are going to be there at all. Those countries are not suffering through an economic downturn, first of all. The standard of living is also higher in those countries. When the standard of living is higher taxes are higher (NOT when taxes are higher standard of living is higher). Taxes should exemplify are present state of living, and right now many in America are struggling so to raise taxes is taking money OUT of peoples hands and putting it into an entity that can do basically whatever it wants with it. Think about it, if we do what they republicans say and lower taxes, that will put more money in the consumers’ hands and the consumer will consume more, so the government can get its quota from taxes on goods and services.
Denmark does have the one of the higher tax rates, but it is very easy to do business in Denmark: there are many jobs! Barriers to entry are limited and almost non-existent.
Switzerland has one of the highest standards of living, so of course it is going to have higher taxes.
Sweden has a huge manufacturing economy for its resources so the standard of living is very high.
Canada’s banks are very secure and their taxes on goods and services is higher.
Firstly, you are deluding yourself if you think that those countries are not in an economic downturn as well. Sure it’s not as bad there as it is in your country, but that might just be because it was started in and by your country. You are only proving my point when you say things like “They have a higher standard of living”. Isn’t a higher standard of living what we all aspire to? The reason why the standard of living is higher in those countries is because the people who pay the higher taxes actually make their government accountable as to how that money is spent. That is all I was suggesting that Americans do… get more involved. If you owned a business and your employees weren’t doing what they were hired to do, would you just ignore it, or would you fire them and hire new ones who would? It’s the same with your government, they are your employees. It seems to me, a Canadian outsider, that you have forgotten this… and so has your government.
You are saying that a higher standard of living is the result of higher taxes and I am saying higher taxes is the result of a higher standard of living. No, I am not deluding myself with the effect of America’s economic downturn. Our debt and unemployment rates are generally higher here in America. I totally agree with you that Americans should get more involved. There are many corrupt politicians in our system and it is up to us as informed citizens to stop that. However, it is easier said than done. You are making it sound easy and it is not. You are right in saying that the American government are employees of the people. Yes, this may be true, but government in itself is a hire entity above the people. Nations prosper with a healthy relationship between the government and the people.
Nothing worth doing is ever easy and I never said that it was… just that it is necessary.
The Reps have no problem paying for war, because some of the wealthy among them profit enormously from it. As for Medicare and Social Security? They’re doing their best to get rid of them.
Sadly, you are right on the money (pun intended)