The adversarial relationship we have with taxes in America holds us back as a society.
Taxes fund local roads and interstates, parks and nature preserves, running water and reliable electricity, effective sewers and sanitation, police and fire services, Social Security and Medicaid, the military, education, and countless other essential services and infrastructure.
Taxes keep us safe, secure, healthy, educated, mobile, and more.
Taxes fund our freedom.
Yet we pride ourselves on paying as little as possible to ensure all those essentials are maintained. And the more we have, the less we endeavor to pay as a percentage of our incomes — and the smarter we claim to be for doing so.
But avoiding taxes doesn’t make you smart.
Avoiding taxes makes you delinquent in your duty as an American citizen.
Avoiding taxes is defaulting on the debt you owe to the nation that has enabled your success.
Avoiding taxes is a betrayal of your fellow citizens, both present and future, who deserve to enjoy the same benefits and foundation that allowed you to achieve.
What we should take pride in isn’t avoiding taxes, but paying what we owe to support all the things about the nation that allowed us to accumulate what we have.
Rather than bragging about how little we contributed, we should brag about how much we paid.
Rather than admiring and aspiring to the “genius” of those who pay as little as possible, we should celebrate those who pay their fair share.
And we should shame those who don’t.