28 January 2021

On Pope Francis and Taxation

"Good public schools; regular garbage pickup; well-maintained streets and water systems; police, fire, and EMS first responders: What's not to like about government doing what it can to serve the common good? We're content to have that vast infrastructure chugging along dependably in the background of our lives. But paying taxes to make sure that all of that can happen? Meh.

"Most of us grumble and pay up, but those willing to invest in the know-how can find or create schemes to avoid paying their fair share or hide their taxable wealth altogether. President Trump famously dodged income taxes for years even as he lived a life of obnoxious luxury. But more than a grating example of impaired civic-mindedness, could tax avoidance and dodging be something worse? Can it be sinful?

"Pope Francis believes so. Although his focus on the environment and a more merciful stance toward people in relationships not normally sanctioned by the church draw the most attention, he has also spoken out repeatedly on tax fairness."


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