I don't think that high taxes (or any taxes) are bad, up to a point. Obviously, people have to pay somehow for the common good of their society. And, many societies have found that poverty and inequality lead to social instability.
Taxes collected for the common welfare of everyone make more sense than spending even more trying to solve problems in the long run. After school programs and social workers are cheaper than more crime and more prisons. So, reducing poverty and inequality through taxes make sense.
The more socially advanced places have figured this out. And they pay tax rates of 40-60% and up to keep their countries stable and pleasant places to live.
But in the US people complain about taxes as if the money is just thrown away, perhaps burned to heat the homes of the politicians or something. And we think that our taxes are the highest in the world, when actually we pay among the lowest rates of any industrialized country. Low 20's-30% for most people.
So in the US we want even lower taxes
, since the government doesn't do anything worthwhile with the money. And everything worth doing can be done better by private businesses. So we have cut taxes to the lowest rates they have been since the 1950's. Wealthy people are taking more of the nation's income than ever in our history.
And hilarity has not ensued.
Unemployment is the highest its been in my lifetime, largely due to public sector layoffs. Our bridges are deteriorating, school systems are laying off teachers and scrambling for basic funds. Only kids whose parents have the money for fees can be on sports teams or in clubs in many public schools. Forget about music and art classes. Parents have to hold fundraisers to buy new science equipment and computers. After school programs and summer rec gets cut.
Libraries have reduced hours and can't afford to replace worn-out books. Police departments and fire departments have to cut back on hiring. Bus and train fares have to go up to make up for the lost tax revenue. I have read in the news that some cities are going to have twice a month trash pickup instead of weekly due to lack of money to pay the workers. Some counties can no longer afford to pave roads
. So, crime goes up and no police. Kids are at loose ends and no programs. Longer lines at the post office and DMV. Neighborhoods start to look and feel crappy.
What about the private sector? Can't it do the same thing for less? Not really, because you have to add in the profit
. Private firms have to cut costs to make a profit, so you get lower wages and less qualified employees, or fewer employees trying to do the same jobs. With fewer benefits and less job security.
Private prisons save money by having fewer amenities for the prisoners, fewer classes and drug treatment programs, higher turnover of staff (meaning more inexperienced guards) and higher rates of riots and escapes. We don't have to talk about how inefficient and overpriced private health care is-- there have been many diaries on that already. And private charities can't begin to fix all these problems.
The only way this could possibly work out is if the rich folks in the top 1% with the billions voluntarily hand over a small percentage of their incomes, which would amount to a big chunk of change, to the cities, counties and states.
But they have not shown any desire to do that. They do send their excess money to overseas banks and (surprise) pay millions for lobbyists to tell the 99% that taxes on wealthy people are evil