You can tell our priorities are mixed up because of how pissed off we feel on Tax Day.
I can’t remember exactly where I heard that idea first, but it’s returned to my mind often for some time. Those words are hot on my mind today because I just finished packaging up returns. I admit I’m not particularly happy to pay these taxes—but that’s is not because I don’t actually want to pay them. Instead it’s because I don’t really like how the government uses the money I send them.
I’d rather subsidize people more than businesses, for example (says a person who made his living in a highly regulated automotive industry for a couple decades).
I’d rather fund research more than national defense (says a person who made his living in the defense industry for nearly a decade).
I’d rather fund education more than law enforcement.
I’d rather fund health care for everyone than force people to work for a company they’d prefer not to work for.
You get the idea.
I mean, I’m totally fine with paying taxes. I like the idea behind them. Yet today I’m unhappy about it.
Have you ever thought about that? I mean. Everyone grumbles about paying taxes. Why?
As I look at the envelopes sitting on my desk and ready to be mailed (because for a few odd reasons I still do some of this on paper), I find myself wishful for a world in which, when I dropped them off, I could walk away thinking “well, I’ve done my part.” Thinking that I’m actually helping people rather than essentially poring cash into a big funnel that results in lining the pockets of the people I know this money is eventually going to go to. That would be great, wouldn’t it? To live in a world where people could actually celebrate Tax Day? To know that through the work it took you to make this money, you are serving something bigger on this particular day. That’s what taxes should be, I think. My investment in the future of America. My little contribution to the greater whole. My art of creating a solid support network for people and an insurance policy of sorts for myself, too, because … well … there but for the grace of whatever power you believe in goes us all, right?
It’s a thought, anyway.
Or a dream, maybe.
Imagine it, though. If you try just right, just hard enough, or maybe just at the right time, well …
Wouldn’t that be amazing?