The only thing that really needs to be said, over and over again, is:  It’s not what you pay in taxes,  it’s what you get in services.   When the Repubs say that privatized services will be more efficient and cheaper, they’re just plain lying.  It’s never been true and never will be true.   Centralized, truly nonprofit operations will always be more efficient, not to mention far more consistent in their application.    Take a look at the quagmire of expenses and botched services provided by contractors to the Armed Services in Iraq and Afghanistan for a recent example.  The Pentagon either couldn’t staff up properly or chose to hide their true expenses behind contractor fees (ignoring possible internal corruption), and the US gov’t ended up spending more than they otherwise would have and getting less for it.  

Next, remember that infamous “tax and spend”  epithet?  Well, gosh, just what should the Feds do:  tax and not spend ?  Seriously?   The government exists to spend money for the collective good of the nation.      Take a look back: in the 50s and 60s, the personal tax brackets, not to mention the capital gains brackets, were astronomical by today’s metrics, yet somehow the USA had one of its greatest periods of economic growth across nearly all the population.  The middle class basically came into being.   

And finally,  we need to stop viewing taxes as “taking our money.”  Salaries, prices, in fact everything to do with money exchange are based on foreknowledge of tax rates.  If there weren’t and Federal taxes, do you really think your employer would give you all the money at the top line of your pay stub?  It’s all an accounting dance.  We should, as an old friend (and naturalized citizen) once said, be proud of the amount of tax we pay because it’s an indicator of how well we are doing ourselves.