Taxes are necessary to provide a safe, healthy and educated society. Without taxes, you have no society, just a collection of individuals living in the same geographic location. The level of taxation, and what the taxes are used for, really defines a society more than anything else IMHO. I am one of the many billions of people world wide that feel that the UN declaration of human rights requires taxation to achieve, and that the goals of the declaration are worthy of supporting. America is unique in the OECD in in that it seems a majority of people do not feel that basic human rights, as defined by the UN, are worth paying taxes for. This is the biggest stumbling block for me to return to the USA. I have nothing against nationalism, and the US is not unique in that current and past citizens have fought and paid with their lives to support their society. We either provide a basic level of support to all our citizens, or end up with a rebellious, criminal, sick and homeless caste of citizens who may have ended up where they are due to nothing more than bad luck. It is very easy for those that are financially secure, with comprehensive health care and a good education to feel smug and look down on less fortunate, or less gifted, or ethnically/sexually/culturally different folks, or folks who were born into poverty, ignorance and violence. That is not a world I wish to live in, and so I don't. Instead I pay taxes and have a very good lifestyle from the money left over, and everyone else has at least a roof over their heads, enough food to eat, education if they choose, and access to basic health care. This is humane. Some folks will always abuse any system of benefits, and this annoys us all, but you just have to do your best to motivate them to improve themselves, or at least discourage them from milking the system. I'm just not sure what those of you who oppose such a system would like to see happen to those that can't always provide everything essential for themselves and family. Die in the street from sickness, starvation or exposure? Crime?? Charity? What becomes of crippled or mentally handicapped people? Unemployed when there are just not enough jobs to go around? Accidents can happen to anyone by no fault of their own. Then what?
As I've said before, we are not a wealthy family by any measure in developed countries. We don't have a computer at home, no iThingies, have one old car to get to the trail head and bike or walk most other places, almost never eat out or go on overseas holidays, grow as much of our own food as possible, and need to be frugal with our money. We don't even have a dish washer, air con, central heating, flat screen TV, yada yada-yada. Yet we have plenty. We are mortgage free, with savings in th bank. We have a lot more than many, and yet there are so many people who have all the newest gadgets, big mortgages, new cars and vacations, that complain about their taxes going to help those who have almost nothing, and that they don't earn 'enough'. This embarrasses me on their behalves to see how greedy and self-centred some can be. Sorry if I've just offended some...