Liberals, while they’re busy trying to avoid paying taxes, get really upset if conservatives complain about paying taxes. But conservatives’ inability to really explain their policy on this issue (as with other issues) has led liberals to legitimately ask, “If there were no taxes, who would pay for the roads?” I say “legitimately” because conservatives rarely if ever explain their tax policies in a nuanced way. They speak in blanket statements. So of course liberals are going to ask stupid questions like that. If conservatives are “against taxes,” think liberals, then they must be against roads as well.
I received that same talking point recently. It read, “Let’s say we live in a country where taxes do not exist. Who would pay for things like sidewalks? Traffic lights? Highway infrastructure? The upkeep of historical buildings and monuments? Schools? Libraries? The maintenance and upkeep of public transportation? Hospitals? Museums? Playgrounds for your kids? Dog parks? Military funds? Law enforcement?”
Who can blame the idiot for assuming conservatives want to “live in a country where taxes do not exist”? Okay, I’m sure many of them do, but the majority, I believe, would be more than happy paying taxes if their taxes went toward legitimate causes, and if those taxes were not taken at the federal level. (What the liberal can be blamed for is not knowing that before the income tax became law in 1913, guess what–roads, sidewalks, schools, fire and police departments, and a very successful military all existed just fine.)
I think conservatives need to make an important distinction to clarify their tax policy. They are not against taxes; they are against nonsensical and self-serving taxes.
Tolls on roads, for example, are wholly legitimate taxes because the people who pay those tolls are the people using the product they’re paying for. It makes much more sense for someone driving on the road to pay a toll to use it than for everybody, including people who don’t use that road, to pay for it through taxes.
State taxes are legitimate for things like fire departments and hospitals. Disaster can strike anyone at any time, so there’s no reason for conservatives to be against taxes for these safeguards.
Schools, on the other hand, are illegitimate uses of taxes. As in the case of roads, it makes more sense for the people using the public-school system to pay for that system, rather than people whose children are all grown up or people who have no kids at all.
And if a community wants a museum or a dog park or some other commodity like that, those people who want it can donate money to the appropriate fund. Why do taxes need to go to a dog park or a museum? If you want a museum, you pay for it through donations to its construction fund, and each time you visit the place, you can pay an entry fee that will go towards upkeep. If museums are that desired by the people, then the people should have no problem donating to that cause.
Who but a liberal can argue with these common-sense policies? Conservative politicians make blanket statements against taxes because they know that’s what their base wants to hear. They don’t get into the details of it; they just say simply, “I’m against taxes. Vote for me.” But if they explained that they support a common-sense policy such as I’ve laid out above, not only would most of their conservative base support them, but so would the moderate voters who, up until that point, just assumed conservatives wanted to abolish all taxes without even thinking about it.