Senior exemption from taxes? Here’s three reasons that would be a terrible idea (letter)
A friend of mine put a posting on Facebook. It was a picture of four old guys sitting on a bench, and it had this message: “After the age of 65, you should be 100 percent tax-exempt. You have already more than paid your dues. Like and share if you agree.”
I made three responses:
Disagree. Even when you’re old, you are still benefiting from the government — defense, police, highways, courts, etc. And everyone who votes should have some skin in the game, so if they are asked to approve spending, they will know part of it is coming out of their pockets.
More disagree. The federal debt is now $21 trillion because today’s seniors, among others, approved programs that tax revenues couldn’t cover, so Congress put the shortfall on the federal credit card.
And then there are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — popular with seniors but due to run out of money in a decade or so, by which time a lot of today’s seniors won’t be around to take the blame any more. Any politician who tried to do something about these problems would not get elected.
Third disagree. In the recent election, health care was the most important issue for many people, including a lot of seniors. Who is going to pay for my health care? No discussion of what all these plans are going to cost or how we will pay for them.
No discussion of how we get people to lead healthier life styles, so they don’t need so much health care: like stop smoking, exercise, don’t drink so much, eat a healthier diet, take your meds as prescribed. How do you give people an incentive to take these steps?
If only you pay for your health care, that’s your business. But when I start paying for your health care, it becomes my business, too.