Famous, former Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. uttered those words many, many years ago. And he was right.
Taxes are what responsible people--grown-ups--pay in return for living in a civilized world, with roads, bridges, buildings, fire and police protection, public libraries, good schools, and much more.
Without these things, we'd still be living in the jungle, where it's every man, woman and child for themselves. Chaos. Anarchy. Violence. Lawlessness.
So far as I know, human beings are the only species on Earth that use taxes to make a better world for everyone.
The problem with taxes is that the powerful always find ways to avoid them, burdening the rest of us with their responsibilities. Corporations are the most infamous example known to man.
Corporations successfully avoid paying hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes in the United States every single year. In fact, journalists occasionally publish newspaper articles showing that over half of all corporations pay no income tax whatsoever each year.
They hire armies of Harvard-trained super-attorneys to show them how to evade their taxes, write off their income, send their profits offshore, and hide their money in private bank accounts, saving them trillions.
Then, they hire platoons of lobbyists to swarm Washington, and write corporate welfare laws with Congress and the President that save them hundreds of billions of dollars more.
The other problem regarding taxes is that right-wing fringers have successfully propagandized against them for decades. They have convinced Americans that they don't get anything for their taxes--a Big Lie that, when repeated often enough, sounds like truth.
Gutless Democrats, and Blue Dog corporate lackeys sit in silence, and go along with this charade.
The truth is that right-wingers know how crucial to society, to civilization, to a functioning community and country, a strong system of revenue is, but are too greedy, irresponsible and arrogant to want to pay their fair share.
These people are at heart, anti-social. They don't want to share anything--resources, community, their time or their abilities.
They are more than happy to make use of other people's resources, community, time and abilities, of course. They just don't want anyone to share theirs.
Democrats must recapture and reframe this issue, or they will always lose when it comes to increasing revenue to help the community and the country.
They must paint Republicans as anti-social, irresponsible, selfish whiners who want to live in a civilized world, but don't want to help pay for it.
Hey Republicans: It's time to grow up!
If you want to live here, pay your fair share for the things that we as a society enjoy and that are crucial to our success as a country and as a People. If you love this country so much, as you incessantly claim, then help pay for it!
Then Dems must show Americans the concrete results of their money--what was once the best highway system in the world (crucial to our economic success), the Center For Disease Control (which has helped save millions of American lives), an education system that had been the envy of Western Civilization (and which formed the foundation of ultra-successful Silicon Valley)--these are just a few of the examples of our tax dollars at work.
And do we need to remind people that this thing we call the Internet--and everything that arose from it--came from, yep, the government and our tax dollars. (A shout out to my Alma Mater, UCLA, where the Internet was born!)
In fact, it is accurate to say that the revenue collected from citizens and corporations (when not dodged by these corporations) provides the fuel for the engine of our entire economy. Without fuel, no engine, regardless of how well-designed, well-built and powerful, can function.
So, if we want our economy to prosper, to thrive, to run smoothly, tell the Republicans and Corporate America something they need to hear more often: Join the rest of civilized society, and PAY YOUR TAXES.