Why are taxes so important to you? You probably don't receive social welfare benefits and sit around lounging all day, allowing the working-class to fund your life style. You seem like a reasonable, educated person. We wouldn't need so many of those taxes you speak of if we didn't have so many programs to discourage people from looking for work, and worse, discourage businesses from investing.
Redistribution of wealth is morally abhorrent and the worst thing the government's done to us in the last 100 years is implement a central bank to destroy our money, and place an income tax on us, which fundamentally says: "You don't own your money, we just let you keep some of it. We can spend it more wisely than you can. You're not smart enough to take care of yourself and your family, so we're going to do it for you, against your will."
Because I believe there are long term economic benefits that can only be gained through government action.
Take for example high speed rail. High speed rail has no short term financial gains and generally few if any long term financial gains for any private entities interested in taking on such a project, thus it never happens. However, there ARE long term economic and social gains to be had for the population at large if a high speed rail system is implemented, and it has had considerable effects on economic activity in places like Japan. In Japan and Europe, it was the local governments that were responsible for funding such projects, and the same is true here.
In the end, it's a difference of perspective. You seem to have a more individualistic perspective of the world, in which everyone should focus primarily on accruing their own personal wealth. I see society more as a collective, where often we must come together and make short term financial sacrifices (taxation) in order to enable long term economic gains that will increase society's overall productivity and well-being. That includes things like funding for federal rail projects, other mass transit projects, the post office, ports, and a social safety net that catches people when they face unexpected hardships, allowing them to eventually get back to work and be productive members of society.
I'm also in favor of a job guarantee, to ensure that everyone who wants to work is given the opportunity to do so, thus no productivity is lost due to idle hands:
It's not that the general populace isn't able to take care of themselves or anything of the sort. It's that certain ventures seem to only be possible through government action.
Also, you mention redistribution of wealth being morally abhorrent, but when it comes to certain individuals, I feel that wealth is being unfairly distributed in the first place, with capital owners using high unemployment and the accompanying decrease in laborers' collective bargaining ability to stall or decrease wages despite productivity going up. From the Washington Post:
|So, if not to workers, where’s the money going? Of the companies that comprise the Standard and Poor’s 500, net income (chiefly, their profits) has risen 23 percent since 2007, the last year of the bubble, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Their cash reserves have increased 49 percent during that time — in large part because they’re neither hiring in the United States nor boosting their workers’ incomes. Workers are producing more: “In 2007, the companies generated an average of $378,000 in revenue for every employee on their payrolls,” the Journal reported. “Last year, that figure rose to $420,000.” But workers are seeing none of that increase in their pay.|
Meanwhile, CEOs are getting paid tens of millions. This is unfair, and it's something progressive taxation can be used to counteract.