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Are the taxes you pay worth the benefits government delivers?

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This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.


SALT LAKE CITY — A majority of Americans don’t think the taxes they pay are worth the benefits of government. 

Overall, 41% of voters believe the benefits of government are worth the costs and regulations, or most commonly known as taxes. A third (33%) disagree and 26% are not sure, a Scott Rasmussen national survey found. And 60% of Democrats believe the government is worth the cost. But only 28% of Republicans and 26% of Independent voters agree.

$4.7 trillion price tag: are taxes worth government benefits?

We still have a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal that is sitting on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s desk waiting for members of the House to return.

Of course, there is the broader bill, the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which would expand health care, provide free preschool and community college, family leave and fund climate-change programs.

And that will be passed through reconciliation. But the debate will likely focus on the question: Is it worth it? For what we all will have to pay in taxes, fees, regulations, inflation, what do we get?

Balance of power

As we go into 2022, the nation has a closely divided House of Representatives. We have an even 50-50 split among Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. So 2022 is going to be about the balance of power. And that balance will de determined by independents who sometimes vote for Democrats but sometimes they vote for Republicans. 

Remember, 60% of Dems are going to say to Independents: Yes, it’s worth it. And 72% of Republicans will say to them: No, it’s not.

Is the cost of government taxes that we pay, the fees we pay, the regulatory costs that businesses pass on to consumers, is it all worth it?

The role of government should be, President Abraham Lincoln said to Congress:

. . . to lift artificial weights from all shoulders — to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all — to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.

I think that’s a pretty good model.

Related:

Truth-in-Taxation law holds taxes in check while property values rise in Utah

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.