Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell on taxes

This video of Colin Powell, taken right after he endorsed Obama on Meet the Press, is fascinating on many levels. I'd like to focus specifically on his discussion of taxes towards the end. Powell comes right out and says that taxes are always a redistribution of wealth, but the redistribution is often given back to those who pay it in the forms of roads and services and what not.

That is the progressive/liberal position on taxation stated in perhaps the most concise fashion I have ever heard and it comes from a nominal Republican!

Perhaps our public dialog on taxes will begin to change. It is a positive sign when a Republican of Powells's stature states that taxes as a redistribution of wealth is not a bad thing.

I have problems with Powell. Specifically, I don't think he has sufficiently explained his presentation to the UN on alleged Iraqi WMDs. But that doesn't prevent me from seeing the power of a statement like this.

Update: Transcript of Powell on Taxes
Taxes are always a redistribution of money.  Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those that paid them.  In roads and airports and hospitals and schools.  And taxes are necessary for the common good.

And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more or who should be paying less.  And for us to say that that makes you a socialist, I think, is an unfortunate, an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate.  

And I don't want my taxes raised.  I don't want anybody else's taxes raised.  But I also want to see our infrastructure fixed.  I don't want to have a 12 trillion dollar national debt.  And I don't want to see a annual deficit that's over 5 hundred billion, heading for a trillion.  So how do we deal with all of this?


Blogger Suzanne Ledo said...

Colin Powell said exactly what I was thinking about taxes and the "redistribution of wealth".
Sure, none of us ENJOY paying taxes, but how else do you fund the services and infrastructure of a country?

5:51 PM  
Blogger Tetsuji said...

Colin Powell is wrong to say that taxes are "redistribution of wealth". We pay taxes to "contribute" to the public services. "Redistribution" implies taking from one group and giving it to another, and that's a socialistic idea, and hopefully that is not Obama's intention. We'll find out soon...

2:25 PM  

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