Let’s start with the episode that inspired me to quit thinking about this site, and to actually “do it”.  Specifically, Elizabeth Warren (2012 Democratic Senate candidate in Massachusetts) giving a seemingly-impromptu speech that has become a favorite of the progressive/left to rally for “fair taxation” as of late – See the section “Elizabeth Warren on Fair Taxation…” (starting around 00:49 in the clip, below).  Every time I see it quoted, however – usually with a “Yeah!” or “Right on!” or “Yeah – the rich don’t pay enough!” – I wonder why it fires them up so much – because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t really argue for anything your average Republican (or even some Libertarians) wouldn’t agree with.  Kind of like we can all (largely) agree on the fact that 1+1 does, indeed, equal 2.

Let’s review the key points in her speech that we need to keep in mind when considering what our fair share of taxes is (“You” here is hypothesized by Warren as someone who built a factory and ostensibly did well – implicitly “rich”):

  • You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for
  • You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate
  • You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for
  • You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of work the rest of us did
  • You take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

So to boil it down – “We all need to pay taxes to fund roadways, education, police & fire, and the military”, right?

Hell – I don’t think the Republicans could agree more!  Well, maybe some of them could agree more – they could talk about “education” some – but c’mon – if that was all Elizabeth Warren was trying to suggest government should pay for – would we even be having this discussion?

P.S.  Just some food for thought – how much of the services that Elizabeth noted are state- or local-level government functions, versus federal-level?  Now if you really want some more in-depth on this – see Cato@Liberty’s post on the same.

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