Corruption, not taxation, is the problem

In his May 6 letter Chris Neibauer nailed the problem on the head when he complained of “our tax dollars being thrown down the drain by corrupt politicians.”

So why didn't the tea party organizers protest against corruption instead of protesting against taxation? The reason is clear: protesting against taxation meshes with the anti-government ideology prevalent among conservatives.

Neibauer says he's “all for paying taxes to benefit the country, as anyone with half a brain is.” But millions of Americans oppose government and consider taxation to be theft, even when it's used to fund necessary and worthwhile programs such as national defense, veterans' care, the FBI, debt reduction, regulatory agencies, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the Bush years, Republicans intentionally mismanaged government and ran up the deficit, in an effort to “drown government in a bathtub” and destroy peoples' faith in the possibility of good government.

Now we must fix government and we must raise taxes on the well-to-do, who have seen their share of wealth increase dramatically and who enjoy unjustly low rates of taxation, especially in states like Washington with a regressive tax system.

Government is indeed out of control, because powerful special interests hijack it. But the answer isn't Reagan's (minimize government). The answer is: have public financing of elections so that politicians aren't beholden to special interests.

Donald A. Smith, Bellevue