Taxes aren’t all bad, but what are they good for?

Raise taxes to what end?

Devon Black, while noting the comments of Thomas Mulcair, makes the entirely valid argument that taxes serve a purpose.

We ought to look skeptically at politicians who run for office while making claims that government is the problem and we’d all be better off with lower taxes and less regulation. That reasoning is attractive on the surface, but even a moment’s consideration should give us pause. Paying a few dollars less in income tax might be nice, but we can’t buy clean water or effective electrical grids on our own.

See also this 2009 column from Andrew Potter on “Tax Freedom Day.”

As philosophy this is fine, but putting it into practice requires convincing voters that more of their tax dollars are required for the purposes of doing something (and perhaps, as part of that, that the government is capable of accomplishing that something). That’s the real trick.

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