Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Is it My 'Civic Duty' to Pay for Other People's Stuff?

When John Harrison was a senior at Druid Hills High School in DeKalb County, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, he was miffed when he was rebuffed by parents at a private school when they refused to purchase a discount coupon for Domino’s Pizza. The money was to go to his public school’s art program. They told him, “We already contribute through taxes, and we pay for our children to go to school, so why don’t you hit up your own parents?” A little harsh, if it was really said that way, but right on the money nevertheless. Ann Coulter couldn’t have said it any better.

Paying taxes is a civic duty, and these people were arrogant enough to view their taxes as a contribution, not a responsibility.
Young Mr. Harrison was “shocked and appalled” at the curt response he received. Well, I was shocked and appalled, but not surprised, at what I read next from the na├»ve public school senior who doesn’t own a home or pay very much in taxes and is on the domestic dole of his parents:

Excuse me? Paying taxes may be a civic duty, but that doesn’t answer the question as to what things taxes should be collected to fund. My property is taxed to pay for the education of other people’s children. I don’t consider that a “civic duty.” I consider school taxes as a way to promote the government status quo. Public (government) schools promote government.

Let’s suppose that a majority of people decide that cars, food, clothing, and houses, like education, are necessities that should be funded through taxation. In fact, a case can certainly be made that food and clothing are more important than a formal education. And if you don’t have a car, it’s not easy to get a job. I should have added a phone to the list. Without a phone, how will you get a prospective employer to let you know that the job is yours? Would it be my “civic duty” to pay taxes to fund these newly established rights? If not, why not? Of course, there are quite a few people out there who believe people should be taxed to pay for these things.