Friday, October 26, 2007

Why do we pay taxes?

According to the Washington Post, some environmentalists are upset at some of the cost of fighting fires in southern California:
Some of the areas hit hardest by this week's fires are near Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County. The area is thick with vacation homes, a sore spot for environmentalists who complain that federal taxpayers foot the bill for protecting houses near national forests.

"These smoke jumpers drop out of the sky miraculously to fight the fire for you, so there's incentive for county commissioners and land use departments to withhold the permitting of homes," said Ray Rasker of Headwaters Economics. He was reached in Washington, where he was presenting a study showing that 50 to 95 percent of Forest Service firefighting costs went to protect private property. [emphasis added]

Taxes should be raised, Democrats say, because the government "needs" the money to provide us with services such as police and fire. It turns out, though, that, while Democrats are always enthusiastic about higher taxes, they resent the fact, here anyway, that a portion of the money is spent providing services for taxpayers.

They might be happy, however, if more money were spent preventing either the government or private homeowners from building firebreaks or otherwise managing the fire risk around their homes.

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