The whole thinking about taxation has to change. A country needs revenue to build its infrastructure and for new exploration activities. Throughout history, developments like telegraph wires, railway lines, semiconductor cables, etc. all were non lucrative enterprises but they spawned great commerce and great enterprise. All these activities provided the infrastructure for great businesses to be developed. Take recent events…..mapping of the human genome was funded by US Federal Government at a cost of $3.8B over 15 years and is purported to have generated $796B in economic activity raised $244B in personal income and supported 310,000 jobs in one year alone. Out of projects at NASA came some great innovations that have been used in all areas of our society and industry, not least in the medical field, and these have created businesses and jobs.
To do this costs money. The people in the US can’t expect a Government to keep cutting taxes but at the same time be a policeman to the world, fight wars….and also sustain the infrastructure as well as carry out exploration that will create jobs in the future. All this costs money.
What Government needs to be doing is simplifying taxes and charging taxes in the right way. The US is the only modern western Government that does not have a Federal Sales Tax. Sales Tax is the fairest of all the taxes and a 2% Federal sales tax would cut the majority of the national debt in less than a year.
Simplifying tax would also be a big step. At the moment corporations are sitting on vast mountains of cash and not willing to spend it because they are not sure what is going to happen. They know the tax system has to change and they are waiting to see what is decided before they can decide how to invest in their future activities. A clear direction on what will happen with taxation would allow them, to make decisions and start to free up cash.
Governments need to think longer term and look at providing an environment where business and people can grow. They need to be changing pension systems and employment laws to free up businesses to grow and employ more people. The current laws are not compatible with the future of the workplace.
Most of all, everyone needs to stop seeing taxes as a burden. Government needs to see it as revenue that is providing value for money. They need to be proud of how they are spending the revenue they generate and the benefits in good infrastructure and good laws and outstanding explorations. Citizens need to see it as a payment for services rendered and attach those benefits in their minds.
Today I woke up and breathed relatively clean air, and when I switched on the tap I was able to clean my teeth in safe water all thanks to Government regulations.
I got in my car that meets safety standards and drove on a good road through multiple intersections due to an infrastructure designed to allow me to travel safely.
I passed people going to work on the public transport that runs despite the weather and makes sure they can get to work and do a job.
I ate food that gave me details that allowed me to decide what was safe for me to eat.
I saw children and students entering buildings to get an education that would ensure the brains and minds of the future.
I walked safely through the streets in the knowledge that the likelihood of being attacked had been minimised due to an efficient police force and I watched a fire engine drive past responding to a crisis and probably ensuring lives were going to be safe again tonight.
I took time to reflect that the buildings I worked in, and the ones being built next door, were safe and met standards that assured me it was ok to go about my life without worrying whether it was safe.
The streets were being cleared of waste and the shop signs told me things that I could largely believe because they are required to not falsify their message to me.
I took a plane that met standards, drove in a taxi that could not kidnap me and stayed in a hotel that was hygienic and was monitored to ensure it was safe for me to stay in.
There are many parts of this world where NONE of these assurances are present and you take your life in your hands each day by simply waking up. For all the security and peace of mind I pay my taxes.
This is the mindset we need to engender. I hear people screaming about the unemployed being given handouts for doing nothing…..and then at the same time the same people doing the complaining are avoiding paying taxes. I see no difference between the person that takes state handouts and wealthy people that avoid paying taxes for services they are receiving.
We don’t need less taxes….we need fairer and simpler taxes and better rules and laws