America runs on taxation.
This is something that bears repeating in a country where taxes — the money that each of us puts into the “Keep America’s Lights On” jar — are a casually reviled concept. In America, there is an entire industry built on helping people avoid giving money to Uncle Sam. The most recent United States presidents have cut taxes in some way. The Republican Party, which accounts for more than one quarter of the American electorate, has fashioned itself into an extremist organization that believes in “starving” the government by relieving taxpaying oligarchs of their civic burden.
And yet, in spite of all this, we’ve never experienced a moment when America’s lights have gone off — when tax revenues plummet to such a low point that the government has no choice but to shut down programs and services that are integral to everyday American life.