We all pay our share


Well, I filed my tax return and paid my taxes. Voluntarily. No one from the government came to my house to “steal” my money “at gunpoint.”

As a Christian, I follow Jesus’ instructions to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

In his first letter to the Corinthians (12:28), St. Paul lists government among our gifts.

In his second letter (2:10), St. Peter describes those who despise government as “presumptuous and self-willed.”

Clearly the Bible does not teach that taxes are bad. However, we do not buy our way into heaven by paying taxes, nor even by good deeds. If we could, we would have no need of a Savior.

Our founding fathers understood the need, for those who were able, to contribute for the common good.

Its placement in the very first article of the Constitution is no accident. Some would have you believe the Constitution authorizes only defense spending.

This is clearly untrue. Article 1, section 8 gives congress the right to impose taxes “for the common defense, and for the general welfare.”

President Jefferson authorized the Louisiana Purchase to benefit the American people.

President Lincoln’s Secretary of State pushed for the purchase of Alaska for the same reason.

The transcontinental railroad, the interstate highway system, the space program, the national park system, the Panama Canal, the Center for Disease Control, the air traffic controllers, all were designed to improve the general welfare.

As the life of the people became more multi-faceted, so, too, did the government programs designed to promote the general welfare.

And so did the need for taxes.

Certainly, in 1775, few thought of universal public education as a need. Most men needed only to make an X for a signature. (Indeed, at the end of the Civil War, there were still no public schools in any of the Confederate states.)

Times change.

One may agree or disagree with a specific federal program; but there is no question that the federal programs and the taxes to pay for them are constitutional.

One pays according to one’s ability, not whether one agrees or disagrees.

Some think their taxes should only be used for programs that have their approval (i.e., abortion).

Yet 10 years after the invasion of Iraq, my taxes are still paying for a war which I opposed from day one.

And will for years to come. Our common citizenship requires that we all pay our share, as we are able.

Lola Johnson