It’s true. And I love saying it, because it makes the Tea Partiers and Conservatives crazy. Seriously, I really do like paying taxes. When I sit down to write that quarterly check, I think about what all it gets me. Most people don’t write regular checks to the IRS, they have it taken out of their salaries, so they don’t get to have that honor every three months. What I actually contribute to the government is shockingly small (although not as small as what the stinking rich have to pay, percentage-wise.) Every single time I write that check to the U.S. Treasury, I think about the treasures I get in return: roads, bridges, schools, a military force, cheaper food via farm subsidies, libraries, scientific research and, someday, Social Security. Check out the breakdown here.
A portion of my tax dollar goes to things that I don’t benefit from, like veteran’s benefits, Medicare, food stamps, and public housing. I’m cool with that. It also pays for roads I will never travel, air traffic controllers at airports I’ll never fly into, and education for kids I’ll never meet. That’s actually terrific, because that’s what a civilized society does.
Taxes are the price of admission for a country where stuff works. I’ve traveled internationally to many places and can tell you for sure that paying taxes is worth every penny. It’s seed money for an efficient, democratic nation. If you find yourself bitching about paying taxes, you may want to consider that most of the goodies in America are concentrated in the hands of a very few people who pay a lower rate than you do and would still be ugly rich if they paid 50% or even 90%. And they are the ones complaining the loudest about their tax bills. Boo hoo.
This year, the tax filing day came a little later but, for me, it couldn’t come soon enough.