Union Democrat staff

Taxes pay for a civilized society

To the Editor:

Three recent Union Democrat articles suggest an interesting conclusion. The articles are "The rich get richer" (April 24), "School budgets looking better " (April 22), and "GATE may see comeback" (May 1). The conclusion: Tax cuts and the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few hurts our economy and our society, and taxes help!

The first article documented how the "recovery" predominantly benefited the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. The latter two showed how revenue from Proposition 30, which included increased taxes, is helping our schools. This bears out what Oliver Wendell Holmes said many years ago, "Taxes are what pays for a civilized society."

To me taxes are the people's paycheck, our paycheck to ourselves. Conservatives relentlessly push for tax cuts, particularly for the wealthy, and adamantly oppose any increases. But Proposition 30 got through over this opposition – because we care about our children. And now we have an example of how taxes do make our society better. I hope this fact is not lost in future debate about the matter.

The question should not be whether we should raise or lower taxes. The relevant question is what is the right level of taxation, and from whom should it come, so that we the people have a healthy economy, and so that we have the resources to build and maintain the kind of society that we deserve and in which we all want to live.

Phil Nichols


Congratulations to The Union Democrat

To the Editor:

Great to see The Union Democrat's excellent staff recognized in the Better Newspaper Contest. You do a fantastic job overall and I agree that the particular articles singled out for awards were especially good - incisive, accurate and interesting. Please maintain your high standards!

Mary Tune

Twain Harte