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Do We Need To Pay More Taxes?

Last week I attended the annual meeting of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). This meeting brings in people from all over the world for farm tours, presentations from government/agribusiness/farm group representatives and professional improvement sessions on topics like writing, photography, etc. I’ve been attending these for a number of years including in countries like Switzerland, Norway and Japan. It’s fascinating to get to know and communicate with people from different cultures.

It’s also an eye opener. Let’s take as an example a man from Denmark who approached me and after a brief exchange of greetings said, “The problem with your country is you don’t pay enough in taxes.” Really? I told him he was out of his mind. He got a little agitated and said “My son was able to go to college for the equivalent of about $800 this year. That’s why our system is so much better than yours.” He wouldn’t even consider a difference of opinion. Keep in mind that this guy is a journalist. He’s writing the “news.” Wonder from what viewpoint he writes about for things like government policy . . . I don’t know about you but I consider his policy views extremely liberal and polar opposite of mine. I tried explaining how high our taxes are but he refused to believe me. When I asked him if he’d like to pay more taxes back home he started to get even more indignant. So I found an excuse to move on away from him.

Let’s contrast that with another anecdote. We visited a dairy farm owned and run by a family of Amish descent. Our tour guide pointed out a school owned and run by the local Amish community as we approached the farm. He told us that the Amish school their own children and don’t accept any government funding for it. If they go to a doctor or hospital they pay the health care system back even though they pay their taxes. They don’t want and refuse to accept government assistance! I think these folks are proving we don’t have to have the government take care of us.

These stories made me think about how much our society in the good old USA has moved to a government dependent one. Although, I know many people who are fed up with this mentality. Every “crisis” (I hate that word) can be solved by just spending more money, at least according to every tv news story I see where they show talking heads calling for more and more spending. I wonder how we can keep allowing this to happen. Is it going to require a public revolt to change things? How about we just vote for a new batch of politicians and hold them to their word? Naw. That would never work.

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