Column - Those who use taxes for robbery

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. "Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." President Calvin Coolidge
     There is a general assumption that every nickel, dime and penny collected for taxes is absolutely necessary, is spent properly and the government cannot function otherwise. As anyone who has worked for government knows that assumption is wrong.
     Now do not be a Burro and think I am saying our society should have no taxes at all. Some taxes are necessary. There are things our government does that makes our country a great nation.
     While I am not a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party member, I could join that group but I am not a joiner of organizations. Me and my TEA party friends are concerned about the attempt to constantly increase taxes, as if taxes must always be increased until they reach 100 percent. Consider: a tax rate of 100 percent will collect no money whatsoever since no one would work in that society.
     Therefore, can we get a constitutional amendment that your combined taxes cannot add up to over half of everything you make? No, we can never set a top percentage. Big tax proponents contend there is always a good reason to raise taxes. And to them cutting taxes is always wrong.
     Several years ago a New Mexico legislator on my radio talk show said emphatically the New Mexico Legislature had cut everything that could be cut, there were no more places to cut. With the downturn of the New Mexican economy in 2009 the legislature had tightened their belt to the last notch.
     Further, he contended, the only thing that would even allow government to continue in a limited way would be to raise taxes, and raise them quite a bit. I protested that between the years 2002 and 2008 the New Mexico budget had doubled while the population stayed constant so there had to be some fat to cut.
     We agreed to disagree on the need of the New Mexico budget for a large increase. But there is a constant push to take more money from people and businesses and give it to government. Always it is for a good reason. Always they say it is just a small amount. If it is small, then cut the fat from the budget.
     What I have never seen is either party show any ability to cut the fat from government. Both the Republican and Democrat leaderships constantly wants more money from the citizens. Yes, the Republicans want less money from the citizens than the Democrats. The rub with both parties is the notion that with just a bit more money everything will be fine.
     The dirty little secret of New Mexico that even the newspapers will not publish is that much of the money given in taxes is used for crony corruption. The leadership of both parties will not cut this fat from the budget, perhaps because they are the recipients of the corruption themselves. Of course no one will ever uncover it because everyone is trying hard to not find it and find it they do not.
     Every few years I propose something dead upon arrival. There is no interest in either political party or in the news media for something. What is it? That very many who gets in New Mexico government arise much more wealthy, even when they occupy a job with no salary. Track the wealth growth year by year of our elected servants from before serving to after service.
     Look at the growth of wealth for these individuals and their relatives in New Mexico government. How do some always seem to gain? We can never know since the news media is intimidated from investigating. If they start looking, really looking at corruption, they will be shunned by politicians.
     Suddenly those news teams will have no access, hence they will have no stories to file each day. And if they file no stories they are moments away from the unemployment line.
     Why are the politicians so vehement that taxes must always be raised? Because without the theft of more and more taxpayer money the embedded crony corruption cannot continue unabated. Taking more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.