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MTV News and NPR explain the power of taxes

MTV is still around? And it still has a news department?

Apparently so. And it's teamed up with NPR to talk taxes. My, my, my how things have changed since we all wanted our MTV.

What taxes buy: "Nobody likes paying taxes. Paying taxes is a bummer no matter who you are," says Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR's Planet Money tells MTV in the video Rock Your Brain: Taxes = Power = You.

But, notes Davidson, in order to provide services the government has to pay for them in some way.

That way generally is taxes.

As the video notes, most of our tax dollars go toward just three programs: national defense, health care (Medicare and Medicaid, not Obamacare), and Social Security.

The remainder of our tax payments goes toward other programs -- schools, roads, parks -- that benefit our country and our individual communities.

Trimming the tax code: A major issue that most folks have with taxes is that they seem to be out of control. The time and frustration involved in complying with our tax responsibilities undercut the good that our taxes do.

The ideal tax system, says Davidson, would be very simple. Instead, we struggle every year with the huge, and typically growing, tax code.

For that, we can thank/blame lobbyists.

But we could take back our tax code. If more folks voted and then demanded that the Representatives, Senators and presidents we elect know what tax changes we want, things could change.

"If we shifted the tax code in a more fair and rational way, millions and millions of people would have more money, better access to food, to health care, et cetera," says Davidson. "The stakes are massive. If you could shift one lever, you could instantly improve life for a huge number of people."

The merging of taxes and tunes: As a taxpayer and a writer/blogger about taxes, I appreciate MTV's and NPR's effort to get today's youth involved in our tax and political systems.

To borrow from Golden Globe and Academy Award winning composers John Legend and Common, "it takes the wisdom of the elders and young people's energy" to make any substantive changes.

But as a music lover, I admit that I do miss the days when MTV News focused on musicians and the channel's primary purpose was to play music videos.  

Here's the best of both tax and musical worlds thanks to The Beatles.

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