A tax is a fee that must be paid to the state. Failure to pay is an offense punishable by law. Taxes pay for everything the government does: From paying its employees to purchasing tanks and building schools.

Your tax dollars at work. Literally everything in this photo except the clouds, air, and the Earth is payed for by taxes.

Don't ask him to pay a tax on his ridiculous collection of expensive and rare vehicles, he needs them. If he had to pay taxes on them, he wouldn't have as many cars!!

Just The Facts

  1. One thing a country needs to be great, is money. Lots and lots of it.
  2. There are three "nice" ways of getting it, having a surplus of essential natural resources like oil, export lots of stuff, or having citizens pay some dues.
  3. Some think taxes should be abolished, because people shouldn't have to pay for government.
  4. Or at the very least that rich folks shouldn't have to pay so much, you know, so they'll have more money to spend on improving the economy.


Income Tax

So you've got yourself a job, and now the man is taking money out of your damn paycheck. They're charging you for making money: The more you make, the more they take. It's like a gym membership or magazine subscription you can't get rid of, legally. What do you get for your money? Federal income taxes cover good stuff, in no particular order, like:

  • The military
  • Law enforcement (FBI, US Marshalls, Secret Service, etc.)
  • Transportation safety (FAA, NTSB, NHSTA)
  • Schools (DOE)
  • Environmental safety (EPA, NRC)
  • Emergency management (FEMA, CDC)
  • Earth science (USGS, NOAA)
  • Space science and tech (NASA, JPL)
  • Technology (National labs, NIST, DARPA)
  • Art (NEA)
  • Worker health and safety (OSHA, NIOSH)
  • National parks
  • Welfare

Your state income taxes cover similar stuff, on a state level, and on a much smaller scale.

The Boston Tea Party and the Tea Party

In 1773 England was being kinda dickish to her American colonies. They levied taxes on almost everything, including tea. As we were still English ourselves, we loved our tea. Nevermind that the country had almost bankrupted itself fighting the French, in part to keep French backed Indians from slaughtering English colonists.The colonies realized England had done them a solid so it wasn't so much about the colonies not wanting to pay taxes, they didn't like the idea of paying taxes without some kind of voice in the English Parliment. That's why the original participants of this party repeated the phrase "No taxation without representation!" as they threw tea into Boston Harbor.