- Sunday, April 7, 2024

The latest Fox News poll shows 64% of Americans think their taxes are too high. But don’t they know that “taxes are the price we pay for civilized society,” in the words of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes?

Considering the degree of taxation in our advanced welfare state, if Holmes’ adage were true, we’d have civilization oozing out of our ears instead of anarchy in the streets, chaos at the border, and Washington colluding with Big Tech to censor speech.

Given what our government has become, April 15 should be a National Day of Mourning — a day of mourning for the principles on which our republic was founded. 

President Biden’s fiscal 2025 budget includes $5.48 trillion in revenue and $7.26 trillion in spending. The balance will be added to the gargantuan national debt.

The debt stands at $34.5 trillion, or more than 100% of annual gross domestic product. In 1980, it was 25% of GDP. Interest on the debt is now higher than the defense budget.

Under Mr. Biden, the national debt is increasing by $1 trillion every 100 days. This is one of the chief factors fueling inflation.

In his State of the Union speech, the president said he was a capitalist. He meant theoretically. The last time he earned a dollar at a private sector job, Richard Nixon was president.

Mr. Biden never created a job except in the public sector. He never generated wealth, except for his avaricious family and the Democratic donor class.

While maintaining his commitment to capitalism, Mr. Biden admonished us to pay our fair share. But he forgot to tell his son Hunter.

Democrats have been running this con since the New Deal. The term “fair share” is left deliberately vague. The top 10% of income earners currently pay 75.8% of federal income taxes. Any fairer, we’d be in Cuba or North Korea.

Taxes are a Punch and Judy show where the middle class is continually clobbered by big government.

The president’s proposed budget has a host of new or increased levies, including raising the top marginal tax rate from 37% to 39.6% and the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.

No skin off my nose, you say. You’re not in the top income bracket or anywhere near it. And you don’t own any stock, though chances are you have a 401(k) plan that does.

When the rich pay more in taxes, they have less to invest. That means slower growth and fewer good-paying jobs.

Mr. Biden hands out tax dollars like Father Christmas giving presents, especially to groups whose votes he needs, like college graduates whose student loan debt he keeps trying to cancel.

There are also fewer deductions for domestic energy production and more subsidies for green energy boondoggles. The president has depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to its lowest level in 40 years. Still, gasoline prices could surge to $4 a gallon by Election Day.

The roughly 12 million illegal aliens Mr. Biden has welcomed to the country are tax consumers, not taxpayers. We’re footing the bill for their food, shelter, clothing and health care. We also pay more for increased police protection to handle the crimes they commit. Venezuela emptied its prisons to send us its best and brightest.

American humorist Will Rogers once quipped, “Just be glad you’re not getting all the government you’re paying for.”

In Mr. Biden’s America, we’re even flying migrants in from Mexico (more than 300,000 so far) to avoid the election-year visuals of illegals storming the border.

Our tax dollars also go to harassing opponents of the ruling party.

So far, former President Donald Trump has been indicted on 88 criminal charges by Democratic prosecutors such as New York Attorney General Letitia James, who’s gnawing her knuckles about not being able to seize Trump Tower.

The FBI has been turned against pro-life activists, traditional Catholics and 2020 election skeptics.

Other examples of your tax dollars at work include gender transitioning for minors, subsidizing abortion (the Planned Parenthood Foundation gets $148 million a year in grants from the Department of Health and Human Services and $1.5 billion from Medicaid, Medicare and similar programs), various vote-buying schemes and aid to colleges that allow antisemitic mobs to riot on campus.

It’s not just that the taxes of Americans are too high, but what’s being done with the money squeezed out of them. We are literally paying for the destruction of our civilization.

Apologies to Oliver Wendell Holmes, but increasingly, taxes are the price we pay for barbarism.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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