In his recent column, Bryan Gray laments opposition to taxes increases for “pleasure.”
“I think of the impoverished families who cannot find money to pay for private swimming lessons. I think of low-income senior citizens who don’t have the funds to pay for lap swimming, tennis, or exercise workouts at a private country club.”
Mr. Gray, I think of the impoverished families who are forced to pay for the pools, rinks, courts, exercise equipment, etc. that they likely still won’t use nor afford the fee to use. I think of the senior citizens who are forced to pay out of their fixed incomes for these items they will never use while trying to afford their medications or just stay in their homes. I think of the young families, just starting out, whose burdens are increased for someone else’s “pleasure”.
I think of small businesses struggling to stay afloat only to find the service they provide is now offered by a unbeatable competitor backed by tax subsidies. I think of those who have lost that competitive battle as well as those that never began because the opportunity was absorbed by government. I think of all the lost private jobs and their resulting real economic stimulus.
Government’s purpose is to provide basic services and infrastructure to enable individuals to have an equal shot at their definition of success. It is not the guarantor of success or happiness. Just as it is not my neighbor’s responsibility to ensure my happiness and access to cheap ammunition, roller blades, or bowling, neither is it government’s role to force others to provide these things for me through its taxing authority.
So Mr. Gray, maybe rather than complaining about those of us opposed to such forced happiness initiatives, your time and money would be better spent on private charities that provide for those you are so personally concerned about.