The Morality of Taxes

Americans are bracing for the largest tax hike in U.S. history on January 1 if Congress does not extend the Bush Administration’s tax cuts. While some of the tax breaks could be extended to the middle class, people making more than $250,000 a year could see 50% of their income go to taxes next year.

A Varney & Company poll showed that 88% of viewers think taking more than 50% of a person’s income away for taxes is not moral. Fox News Contributor Father Jonathan Morris appeared on Varney to debate the morality of taxes.

“Without a doubt we have a moral responsibility to take care of our neighbor,” said Father Morris. “And there is also a social issue, and that is that society has to create a safety net. It is a societal moral principle to say we collect taxes to have a safety net to those who can’t take care of themselves.”

Congress has returned to Washington early during their traditional August recess to pass an emergency $26 billion bailout of the states. The extension or expiration of the Bush tax cuts will also be discussed as lawmakers begin the final push into the midterm elections this November. Regardless of the outcome, Father Morris explains the necessity of taxes to maintain a moral society.

“I’m not talking here from a religious point of view but rather an ethical and moral point of view. In my opinion, God gave us a mind to be able to say ‘this is always wrong and this is always right,’” said Father Morris. “It’s called subsidiarity, which is a big fancy word meaning that s higher level of society or government should not do what a lower level of society or government can do for itself. When government says we’re going to take lots more money because we are going to take care of everything for you. That goes against the dignity of every human person can do that for themselves.”

While taxation in broad terms may be required to sustain a viable society, Father Morris explains that there is a line that can be crossed.

“Now, 50% [in taxes]? More than 50%? That seems like too much given our time and our day,” said Father Morris.