Taxation and Nation Building

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There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.

-Adam Smith, Wealth of Nation

Tax is a compulsory payment or contribution made by the citizens of a country to the government for the general benefit of the country. But not every one of us sees tax as a general benefit for a country, for others it is the other way around. Most of us sees tax as means for the government to corrupt the money of the people, to overburden the indigent, to drain the salary of small number of people that have work and for the government to live a comfortable life, being able to have what they want and what they need. It never came cross to our mind if what tax is for. What is the need for us to pay tax? What does the government do to those levies that we find hard to pay? What does tax do to our nation?

Taxation is a system of raising money to fund the government for them to be able to finance activities and projects. All government requires tax in the form of payment from the citizen to pay government officials like police, soldiers, public school teachers, and government workers including the president, his cabinet, the senate, the congress and many more. The money collected is also used to build roads, bridges, highways and other infrastructure, to operate hundreds of public schools and hospitals around the country, to provide help to the poor, to endow elders and children with medical care and for hundreds of other purposes. It is said that without taxes, government could not exist because there would be no money to fund their activities.

Throughout history, people have debated the amount and kinds of taxes that a government should impose, as well as how it should distribute the burden of those taxes across society, especially for the deprived people. Taxes have caused public protests, riots, and even revolutions. In political campaigns, candidates’ views on taxation may partly determine their...
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