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As Long as We Remember...

December 27, 2017

Keeping More of What’s Ours

Hayden Duke

I hope the good readers of had a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah and a blessed holiday season. I did not intend to write a political column this week since I believe that a break from politics is a good thing.


However, the discussion regarding the congressional tax bill passed last week made me rethink that idea.


The discussion of the tax bill brought back some memories of an action taken by the Blaine Young Board of County Commissioners several years ago. The visceral reaction of so many, mostly the rich, to the idea that taxes would be cut for the clear majority of taxpayers reminded me of the same visceral opposition to the $100 rebate checks that the Young Board sent to all taxpayers. Reasonable people can disagree on whether it was the right thing to do (I think it was), but one fact is beyond dispute. The money we received back was our money in the first place.


People work hard for their money; they sacrifice time with family, time with their children and, depending on where one works, their sanity. Some people work jobs they can’t stand, with bosses who make those in Office Space look competent because, at the end of the day, this is what adults do – they work to provide for themselves and their families.


We are told that in 2027 taxes will begin to go up on taxpayers. That is 10 years from now and it’s almost guaranteed that our economy then will bear little relation to the economy of today. It’s sort of like when one of my kids asks me what we will be working on in social studies two weeks from now and begins worrying about it. I tell them: “Let’s not worry about what might happen; let’s concentrate on today.”


And, today, there are many families out there enjoying bonuses from their employers that they would not have had save for this tax bill.


Is it perfect? Of course not. But if we waited for perfection we will be waiting a long time and still will not find it. The fact that we even have to discuss – or defend – the idea of people keeping more of their own money is breathtaking. Government does not earn a single dollar. That money comes from the hard-working taxpayers.


American’s are fair, some of the fairest people around, and arguably are not opposed to taxes per se. We know that we have to pay for the services that we receive; and there are areas where we cannot skimp: public safety, education, defense, etc.


But, when we see our money wasted on such things as a $43,000,000 gas station in Afghanistan, or a new $30,000 electric car in the City of Frederick for use almost solely in the entirely walkable Downtown Historic District, we have a hard time being hectored and lectured to by billionaires and millionaires about how the “dangers” of tax reform.


Interestingly, for every millionaire or billionaire who says “I don’t deserve/need” more of their own money, I have yet to see one who writes a check to the government for the majority of their fortune.


Until that happens don’t begrudge – or stand in the way of – those of us who can sleep a bit easier with more of our money in our bank accounts.


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