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