Happy Tax Day!

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I heard an interesting story on the news this AM on my way in to work. It seems that there is a movement afoot to return the right to vote to convicted felons, after they have served their time and paid their debt to society. To me, this seems fair, and at this point I don't think I have any problems with that.

The story then went on that they're using the slogan 'Taxation without representation', claiming that since these folks are taxpaying citizens, they should have a voice. Here's where I start having problems...

The fact that someone is a taxpayer has never guaranteed anyone a right to vote. I've held down jobs and paid taxes since I was 15, so I was paying taxes before I was even voting age. And then once I was able to vote, I generally ended up getting a full refund of my taxes.

So, I'm wondering just what sort of can of worms these folks are trying to open here? By their logic, should someone not paying taxes (getting a full refund does in fact mean that you've paid no taxes in this context, since the government didn't keep the money) not have the right to vote? What about someone that pays above average taxes compared to other citizens, should they have more votes than others?

Should government be run more like a corporation, and the taxpayers essentially being the stockholders? Shouldn't the people actually funding the government actually be those most qualified to dictate how that money is used?

Of course, we'll never have such a system in the United States, one of our founding principals being that of one person, one vote. But I can't help but wonder if things might be better if this weren't the case...

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This page contains a single entry by Jim published on April 15, 2004 5:21 PM.

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