Everybody Should Pay For the Services They Use


In another blow for the rights of the wealthy few over those of the unwashed billions, Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer explained that the reason he didn’t want to raise taxes on the rich in his state is because the lower income people use the state’s services more often. “Why not have some sense of personal accountability?”, he reportedly asked. “That’s where I think an income tax in Wyoming would miss the mark . . . The highest consumers for services ought to have some skin in the game. They have very little right now.” ( 1 )

I’ll actually accept that method of determining the sources for taxes. I think such a balancing of resources and funds would work quite well.

For instance, since the wealthy have far more at stake in our wars which are solely fought to protect “American interests” (or, in other words, Corporate America’s stakes in foreign nations and their markets), then the vast majority of the defense budget should come directly from the pockets of the wealthy.

Maybe the wealthy should be completely responsible for the costs of local police, the FBI and the like since the poor are far more likely to have law enforcement inflicted upon them than to be protected by them. Fact of the matter is, the wealthy truly need the strongest possible police forces they can afford in order to protect themselves from the justified and growing anger of the poor.

Also, since the wealthy have far more access to advanced medical procedures, then the wealthy should be responsible for all funds spent from the federal budget for research and the like.

Maybe the wealthy should be responsible for all costs related to aircraft safety since the poor don’t have much reason or financial incentive to fly anywhere in particular.

How about the costs of the Interstate Highway system? Not too many folks who work for minimum wage have much opportunity for travel.

Let’s let the wealthy be responsible for the costs of the space programs since, well, we’re back to the fact that the poor don’t travel much.

The wealthy should be responsible for all costs related to solving the pollution problems since they are the only ones who can afford to live far away from the sources of pollution that they build in the neighborhoods populated by the poorest Americans and they really don’t want that nasty stuff to accidentally float over to their gated communities and stain the marble floors.

The wealthy should be responsible for the costs related to the Security and Exchange Commission and any other enforcement agencies necessary to protect the financial markets, banks, investment industries and the like. Shoot, how many poor people have even a penny to invest after spending lavishly to support their dirt and tree bark lifestyles?

Where else might the wealthy take the lead in paying taxes for the services of which they are the major recipient of the benefits?

The wealthy should be held responsible for the costs of higher education in as much as they have pretty much closed the university’s doors to the poor anyway through the destruction of equal opportunity laws.

The wealthy should be responsible for funding the so-called “intelligence” community like the CIA and Echelon and the like. What does it matter to the poor what other countries are up to? To them, one set of dictators (Corporate America) is pretty much the same as the next (Hussein, et al).

The wealthy should be responsible for the civil justice system since who in the world are the poor going to sue? (The poor might as well pay for the criminal justice system since the wealthy can afford to buy whatever justice is needed and the poor cannot.)

The wealthy should be responsible for all costs associated with the many trade treaties that Corporate America has inflicted on the world inasmuch as, seriously, who can afford to buy imported goods, even the same ones you used to make, when the minimum wage jobs you once had are now filled by teenage girls working for pennies a day in some swampy back water country in Asia?

The wealthy should be responsible for the costs related to the FDA since, first, who can afford medicine when you can’t even afford to eat and, well, see the first reason in regards to the problems with food.

The wealthy should be responsible for all the costs related to any research into alternative sources of energy since, hey, who can pay the electrical bill or buy medicine or, well, you get the picture?

The wealthy should be responsible for all costs related to museums or displays of art since who can afford the price of admission in the first place? In any event, the poor always have the many images of the Virgin Mary and Elvis that keep appearing in the mold growing from the cracks in the walls of their bathrooms.

The wealthy should be responsible for all costs related to building sports stadia everywhere in America. How many minimum wage people can afford fifty dollar nose bleed seats, five dollar beers that are warm and a cold, three dollar weenie plus another five for parking and the like? Heck, the poor families usually just sit home and watch whatever game is on TV, eating hot-dogs that cost a total of about fifty cents each, drinking beers that costs way less than a buck apiece and leave their cars parked on the lawn where they belong. Oh, yeah! And the seats they’re sitting in were found out on the curb in front of some rich guy’s house across town and they were free for anyone fast enough to grab one.

I’m certain that you can think of many, many more areas that the wealthy should be responsible for so that they can achieve their very own” . . . sense of personal accountability.” I mean shoot howdy, folks, you just have to agree with the guy when he says that the “ . . . highest consumers for services ought to have some skin in the game. They have very little right now.” Right on, Governor!

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Write me at:jcannon@anotherperspective.org

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Copyright 4/20/2000