Gene Cranick owns a farm in rural Tennessee. He and his neighbors have to pay a $75 annual fee for fire protection from a nearby department. Cranick hadn't paid. When his house caught fire last week, he called 911 and in the call he offered to pay the costs of fighting the fire. No dice. Firefighters responded when his neighbor--who'd paid the fee--worried that the blaze would spread. But they sat by and watched Cranick's house burn. More details here.
Is this the way we really want our country to run? A fee for everything, even the most basic services? A system in which its every man (and woman and child) for him/herself? Or are we all in this together?
Justice Holmes was right: "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society." He had taxes in mind--not user fees.
(I might note that by not fighting the fire at Cranick's house, firefighters increased the likelihood that the flames would spread, not just to the neighbor who called them, but to other property or structures as well.)