Taxes and Infrastructure
The following is an article “Taxes and Infrastructure”
by Marc Primo.
The good standard of living most of us believe Americans ought to have — good schools, clean water, safe roads; is not possible without the proper taxing. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ‘'US taxes are quite low compared to other developed countries.''
The tax debate is riddled with political agendas and shady undertones but when confronted with facts it's not that we're overtaxed, we don't pay enough in taxes, not if we want a better quality of life. Our infrastructure is deteriorating, and all over the country, you will find communities struggling to fund their basic needs.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, published every four years, US infrastructure gets a D+ grade.
About 24% of school buildings are in fair or poor condition, according to the report. Schools in the US are not getting the funding they need to maintain public school buildings.
Airports and air traffic control systems are need of to be refurbished urgently. Out of the 614,387 bridges in the US, more than 200,000 are more than 50 years old.
America's piping is in critical need of attention. According to the ASCE report, one million pipes have been in use for almost 100 years. The aging system makes water breaks more likely.
Power outages are expected to become more common if more attention isn't given to the US energy system. Most of the transmission and distribution lines have been outdated for a while.
Age is the main issue here. According to the report 200,000 out of the 614,387 bridges in the US, are more than 50 years old.
According to the ASCE, there are 926 ports in the US responsible for almost $5 trillion of our economic activity. Trade is only expected to grow with a global economy. US ports have a C+ which is a higher grade than most other categories, and there's still a need to keep up with change. As trade grows so does congestion in ports, the freight network needs improvements to compete with the rest of the world and ensure goods are transferred efficiently with fewer delays.
Roads in the US are in bad shape. About 32% of urban roads and 14% of rural roads are in poor condition. According to the US Department of Transportation, $836 billion is needed to fix the highways and bridges in the US.
Maintaining a first world country is not cheap. All the more reason why taxes are necessary. Taxation represents the means by which governments finance their activities. The primary purpose of taxation is to accumulate funds for the proper functioning of the country. According to the Financial Secrecy report, published every two or three years, Switzerland, the US, and the Cayman Islands are the most significant contributors to global financial secrecy. This means in the US there are many tax evasion schemes aided by loopholes and tax haven gimmicks. There is nothing wrong with working within the law to avoid taxes. It makes sense that every individual and corporation out there is looking to do the same. The problem is many can't see the thin line between legally reducing your tax burden and full-on tax evasion, which is a criminal act.