I agree with Hillary Clinton: Make the wealthy pay

Published: October 22, 2010
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What right do the Americans have to dictate who we should and shouldn’t tax?

What right do the Americans have to dictate who we should and shouldn’t tax? After all, isn’t that our government’s job? But then again, who are we kidding? Our president and prime minister have paid fewer taxes than most of us on our first job. Ok, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the point.

When we take our begging bowl and roam the globe asking others to bail us out, it’s only fair to point fingers at our mansions with an impressive line-up of luxury cars and wardrobes full of handbags- each probably worth a white collar professional’s monthly salary.

For those of you have no clue what I’m on about, I’m referring to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on Pakistan’s desperate need to tax their own elite. She said:

“It is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people, while the taxpayers of Europe, the United States and other contributing countries all are chipping in to do our part.”

It’s highly embarrassing when a member of another country has to state the obvious. Personally, I’m in complete agreement with her. After all, how long will the US and other superpowers of the world keep granting us financial aid and “loans?”

When will Pakistan learn to stand on its own feet and will it (read: we) ever? I honestly don’t see it happening in my lifetime; I hope my grandchildren live to see that day. If only each one of us pays our taxes honestly and no one is exempted, especially the affluent.

Granted, the elite who make up two per cent of Pakistan should do their fair share to help their own people-but what about the government officials and the rich waderas (feudals) of the society? Where do they stand? What have the feudals done since the floods hit Pakistan, besides saving their own land and diverting water to already affected areas? Nobody dares point fingers at them, because of the immense power they wield.

Why don’t we ever look at taxes as an investment? In the long run, that is exactly what’s going to benefit us and the economy, keeping in mind that the government uses it for the right purpose.

narmeen.tariq

Narmeen Tariq

A SZABIST graduate who studied Media Sciences. The author is working as a sub-editor for T2 Extra, the Sunday pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.