As a traditional liberal, I have many differences with Republican policies. However, one outstanding one sticks out like a sore thumb and has had a devastating effect on our Country’s progress. That policy, that sin, is to make taxation a dirty word.

For more years than I care to remember, Republicans have been harping on the claim that Americans are overtaxed. They use this as a club against the Democrats, claiming over and over that the Democrats are the “tax and spend” party, this despite the fact that the Republicans, under Bush, have spent more of the public’s money than any previous administration.

The Republicans have done more than just complaining about taxation; they have created an image of taxation as an evil practice. Unfortunately, many members of the public have accepted this erroneous concept.

By making taxes a dirty word, the Republicans have made it impossible for our government to raise money for necessary expenditures and, have consequently forced the government to borrow, borrow, borrow money from foreign countries (particularly China and Japan) to cover these expenses. This has not only vastly increased our national debt, it has put us at the mercy of other governments who are not necessarily friendly to our aims.

Taxes are necessary to finance our military machine, our police forces, our schools, our fire departments, our federal departments who protect the safety of our food supplies. Many other areas are starved for necessary financing. As a result, our military machine is in sad shape; our schools are deteriorating and we have had periodic reports of lives lost due to food contamination.

We also need taxes to keep our roads, bridges, water supplies and sewage systems in good repair. Because we have not raised sufficient money to keep up the quality of our infrastructure, substantial deterioration has taken place and we have been forced to apply bandaids where extensive replacements and renovation are required. As a consequence, for example, we have had bridges collapse with resulting loss of life.

Unfortunately, the Democratic opposition has been frightened by the possibility of losing elections if they press for proper financing to keep out country on the right path. With the Republicans constantly pressing for tax relief (particularly for the rich) and with the Democrats retreating out of political cowardice, the country is sinking deeper and deeper into a financial hole.

We are not overtaxed. This is particularly true of the wealthy segment of our population who are given special benefits and who are allowed to take advantage of huge loopholes in the tax laws.

Republicans may scoff, but paying necessary taxes is essentially a patriotic duty.

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