Letter to the editor
Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
April 15 isn't simply a day to grumble about our private income being taxed for public purposes. It's also an annual opportunity to take stock of who pays taxes and what they are used for.
While virtually no one likes paying taxes, the reality is that it's one of the prices that must be paid to create the essential physical and human "infrastructures" needed for civilizations.
Grumbles are transformed to outrage, however, when taxes are imposed unfairly and wasted or spent on programs that simply don't work or appear to benefit only a few.
Permanent George W. Bush-era tax breaks (most benefiting the very rich) totaling $2.77 trillion, a proposed 2014 Pentagon budget of $526 billion and corporate tax loopholes amounting to $150 billion, according to U.S. PIRG, are examples of unequal, ineffective and inefficient tax and spending priorities. Overarching all of this is the fact that the entire political system is rigged via political campaign contributions (or investments) favoring the very rich and huge corporations.
More sane and humane taxation and spending priorities can occur only when people committed to such priorities amass more political power and rights than corporations and the wealthy few.
Greg Coleridge, Cuyahoga Falls
Coleridge is director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.