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When you go to a party, do you bring a bottle of wine or a six-pack or put money into the Beer Fund? 

What do you call the guy who doesn’t pitch in?

Taxes are simply the price we all pay for the benefits of civilization (roads, sewers, schools, fire department, police, garbage removal). With both political parties pledging to lower taxes for their targeted constituents, the very notion of the purpose of a just tax has been erased, and with it the notion of shared civic responsibility. 

Is Health Care a "Right"? The rhetoric from the left seems to think so. When you are born, do you automatically have a "right" to health care or good schools or a strong military? That may be debatable. But it is indeed the purpose of  society to devise systems of cooperation to benefit the most amount of people, protect the weak, and efficiently provide opportunity for the citizenry. To have a system by which people can remain relatively healthy and free from fear is the sustainable choice. How to implement that system is the question. These are the questions that civilized societies must answer through reasoned debate.

In opposition to reasoned debate is entrenched ideology, which has afflicted political discourse increasingly since the 1980s. Take for example Grover Norquist, a figure on the right who forces members of his party sign The Pledge, which guarantees signers would never raise taxes no matter what, or face political retribution. Is this a sensible way to govern? Putting ideology ahead of problem-solving creates rigid antagonistic thinking. This political entrenchment has destroyed Washington's ability to govern and resulted in appalling derelictions of responsibility, like waging the three trillion dollar war in Iraq with no means to pay for it.

BOOKS
Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense by David Cay Johnston