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Why taxes can be patriotic (Niclaus Mills/CNN)

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:59 AM
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Why taxes can be patriotic (Niclaus Mills/CNN)
By Nicolaus Mills, Special to CNN
March 19, 2011 12:33 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- Bronxville, New York, is one of the richest suburbs in America, with 40% of its households reporting incomes of $200,000 or more. It normally stays out of the news. But recently, Bronxville has made headlines because its residents are reluctant to pay more taxes, even if that means cutbacks in its schools and police force.

For years, I have been taking the train to Bronxville and walking to nearby Sarah Lawrence College, where I teach, and I was astonished by the news. In Bronxville, the typical homeowner pays $43,000 in annual property taxes. Why an additional $100 to $200, which is the tax figure being discussed these days, would matter is hard to explain. Some residents may say they would prefer that teachers and other city employees pay more for their pensions, which have skyrocketed in the past few years

But the recession has not taken the personal toll in Bronxville that it has in less affluent communities, and Bronxville residents have no reason to believe they aren't getting their money's worth from the taxes they pay. They have superb public schools, and the town runs like clockwork.

What is significant about Bronxville's tax anxieties is that they show the degree to which the anti-tax movement in America has taken on a life of its own. Being pro-tax has become the new third rail of American politics.

It was not always this way, and in our current rush to reduce taxes, it is important to look at the example President Roosevelt set during the Great Depression and World War II. He demonstrated, contrary to today's common wisdom, that it is possible to make the case for increased taxes and still win elections.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:14 AM
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1. Anyone living before raygun can remember when taxes were seen
as patriotic. Especially those of us who lived during WWII and heard from our parents about the Great Depression. We paid taxes to help our country become number one in all things. It took raygun and his followers 30 years to bring us down.
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