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Raise Their Taxes! (And Ours!)

From this week's TNR editorial:

Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor now running for U.S. Senate, is getting a lot of attention for the video of a speech she made recently. It wasn’t just because she was taking on Republican talking points more forcefully than most Democrats do these days. It was also because she was defending an idea almost nobody in American politics dares to champion anymore, at least explicitly: She was defending the idea of taxes.

In recent decades, Republican politicians and key allies, most notably anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, have succeeded in demonizing taxes, as if the very concept of a tax itself were immoral. You can see it in the way the GOP conducts itself in Congress, refusing budget and spending proposals if they raise so much as one cent in new revenue. And you can see it in the party’s field of presidential aspirants, who have said in debates that they hold the same position.

But there is nothing wrong with asking people to pay taxes. On the contrary, there is something very right about it. Nobody questions whether society can require people to serve on a jury or, in times of war, to enlist in the military. So why do we question whether society can require people to pay for the government whose services, and protection, they enjoy?

The moral case for taxation rests on two separate, but related, principles. ...

The rest is worth reading, although you'll have to subscribe to do it.