Taxes a matter of freedom

by Jeff Wickens

I am obliged, as someone who both had a grandparent die recently and as someone who has been out in the workforce for the past six years, to clarify a point or two about the discussion Daily columnist Josh Villa and reader Charlie Vollmer are having about taxes.
VollmerâÄôs Feb. 7 letter, âÄúTax cut defenders distort the facts,âÄù itself distorted facts. His letter claims children whose schools have gone to a four-day school week because of a lack of funding from tax dollars lose 20 percent of their classroom time, but these schools have added an hour to each school day, meaning the number is more like 5 or 6 percent.
For me, itâÄôs a debate about peopleâÄôs rights. First of all, youâÄôve been taxed on everything you own at least once. You get taxed when you make the money, when you buy the home, and every year on your home, car, and whatever other big items you own. How many times is it OK to tax a person on their property before there is a problem? Also, if we think about it, right now weâÄôre getting taxed at least twice on every dollar we make. Once when we earn it with state and federal taxes like Social Security, and once when we spend it with sales tax. If weâÄôre buying something big then we get hit a third time with property taxes that get paid year after year.
My bias is the same as the founders of our country wrote in the Declaration of Independence. Everyone has an unalienable right to live their life, to be free and to pursue what makes them happy in life. We can also own property. If a pen or a notebook is mine, I feel most all of us would agree that no one has the right to tax me or stop me from giving it to someone. Why is it different with a car or house? Either I can own something and give it to someone if I want or I canâÄôt. Taxing people for owning things like a house or a company when they die means itâÄôs OK for the government just to change how much a person has to have in order to get taxed. The federal income tax started out targeting only the top 3 to 5 percent as well.
If itâÄôs a good idea or not to make a school week four days long, I feel thatâÄôs for people with kids to decide since itâÄôll actually affect them. If itâÄôs about taxing us more or less, I like having money, so IâÄôd ask to get taxed less. If itâÄôs about an issue that would take away someoneâÄôs rights, I am on the side of people having rights and being free. But when you debate, please donâÄôt accuse the other side of âÄúdistorting the factsâÄù when youâÄôre doing it too.