With all the news concerning taxes coming out of Washington and St. Paul during the past several weeks, I am reminded of this well-known statement attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing is sure but death and taxes.”
A modern wag, commenting on Franklin’s words wrote, “One difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time the legislature and congress meet!”
While most of us may feel we are paying more in taxes than is actually necessary, due to waste and corruption, we also agree with the old Latin legal proverb which states, “He who feels the advantage ought also to feel the expense.”
Most of us would also agree that the right of taxation by government should only be with the consent of those being governed, and thus taxed. That is supposedly the basis of the system of taxation in the United States of America. Another pertinent statement from the pen of Benjamin Franklin, written at the time of the birth of our great nation, seems most appropriate here:
“The taxes laid on us by the government are indeed heavy, and if they were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our own idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly, and from these taxes, the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement.”
I believe that this warning given to our American forefathers as the foundation of our republic was being laid more than 200 years ago is as pertinent for those of us living today as it was for them.
In spite of all the objections to the contrary on the part of those concerned with “political correctness,” our government was founded on biblical principles. A visit to Washington, DC to view our government buildings and memorials clearly reveals numerous direct quotations from the Bible literally “chiseled in stone” on both the inside and outside of these proud structures.
It was former President Dwight D. Eisenhower who stated in one of his addresses to the nation, “America is great because she is good. If she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
We are proud of our country, and justly so. While we are far from perfect, there is a strong desire on the part of many of our citizens to “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).
Yes, our forefathers have left us a rich spiritual legacy. Certainly it is our duty and responsibility not to squander it, but to replenish it so that we may bequeath to those who come after us a tradition as noble as that which we have inherited.
Yes, God bless America!