Tax Day: Did You Pay Too Much? Are Federal Taxes Fair?

What's necessary in terms of taxes, and what's fair?

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For some reason, as I sit down to write this, I'm thinking about taxes. Oh, right. They're due today. Debating tax policy after settling up with the government may be as ill-advised as grocery shopping after skipping lunch. But given the politically charged problem of our budget crisis, now's the moment. The issue boils down to merely two of the most important questions a society can ask itself: When it comes to taking money out of people's pockets, what's necessary, and what's fair? No one likes taxes, but thinking about your own still-wet 1040, was it the right amount? Did you get your money's worth? Assuming, of course, that you paid taxes; nearly half of Americans don't. Is that fair? Is there a better system? Give me your thoughts at editor@usnews.com or in the comments section below.

  • Read the U.S. News debate: Should the United States adopt a flat tax?
  • Check out editorial cartoons about the budget and the deficit.
  • Read the U.S. News debate: Should the Bush-era tax cuts be extended permanently?