The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

They Allow Us to Vote—To Tax Ourselves

Oct 28, 2002

On November 5, ballot proposals across the country will allow voters a choice of taking poison or being hanged. That is to say, we are supposed to choose between taxing ourselves even more, or else doing without such things as parks, after-school programs, safe water systems and libraries.

In Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, bond proposals on the ballot include over 80 million dollars for upkeep and repair of city schools, museums, libraries, and parks.

In California, Bond Proposals 46, 47, and 50 ask taxpayers for yet more taxes: number 46, for shelters for battered women, the elderly, the homeless and mentally ill; number 47, for repairing schools and relieving overcrowding; number 50, for water supply, quality, and safety, plus coastal wetlands conservation.

In Michigan, State Proposal 02-2 asks higher taxes for sewage treatment and pollution control. In Wayne and Oakland Counties Proposal K asks for 46 million dollars for support of arts and recreation programs serving over a million people.

Proposals like these, on ballot after ballot, are calculated to play on workers’ understanding of their communities’ needs. Of course we need clean water and proper sewage treatment! Of course we need to improve our schools! Of course our children need parks, libraries, and culture!

How can we not agree to pay for it?

The truth is that we have already paid many times over. But our taxes are skimmed to pay for all the stuff we can’t vote on: official salaries, junkets, staffs, programs, purchases. Our taxes pay for expenditures of billions upon billions of dollars for goods and services that we never see, but that line the pockets of politicians and their business cronies.

We are never allowed to vote on the money for their projects, because they know all too well what the answer will be! No, they rely on our willingness to provide what we and most of all our children need, and allow us to vote more taxes for those things. The politicians can then take money that they would have had to put into such projects–and use that money for extra pocket lining.

When we vote to tax ourselves, we are accepting this sort of manipulation. They have got far too much of our money already. Don’t vote to give them more.