Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.
Oliver Wendall Holmes
I spent most of Saturday finishing up my taxes. I had started them early this year, but then I saw that we were going to owe a bundle more than what had already been deducted from our paychecks and I lost interest in completing them. Since Monday is the deadline for filing, I had lost the opportunity to continue to procrastinate.
I am a rule follower. I may complain about some rules, but I believe in following them. I think our society would be a better place if everyone followed the rules. With that being said, I have been know to drive 71 in a 65 zone on our nearly deserted eastern Oregon freeways, but that really is the extent of my law breaking. So, on Saturday I settled in to finish my taxes before the deadline.
Recently the spouse and I have been arguing about politics. He has a job where he spends a lot of time in his pickup driving. He listens to the radio, conservative talk radio. He also listens to NPR, but what seems to stick with him is the anti-Obama, anti-government rhetoric of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. He comes home ranting about how the rich pay a greater percentage of taxes than anyone else. He's become an advocate of the rich. He seems to forget that we are very far from coming anywhere close to benefiting from tax cuts for the rich, but will be financially impacted to a significant degree with future cuts to social security and medicare.
I usually enjoy political discussion, but I'm ill prepared for debate with the spouse because I don't listen to Rush or Glen. So before I can enter into battle I have to research whatever incident the spouse is ranting about, with hopes of finding out, as Paul Harvey would say "The rest of the story."
This is another one of those issues where there is a lot of common ground. I don't know anyone who doesn't think we should balance the federal budget and begin to pay down our national debt. Everyone I know recognizes that there are areas of waste in the budget. Everyone would like to see smaller government. And is there anyone who wants to see continuation of the wars? Why can't we have a civilized discussion about our federal budget without mud slinging and grandstanding?
Like millions of Americans (and unlike General Electric), I paid my taxes. I don't have any fancy tax loopholes or shelters. My house is paid off, so I can't even take a mortgage interest deduction. I paid my fair share. It was a healthy chunk of money, but when I reflect on what this country has given me and my family, it is money well spent. I agree with Oliver Wendall Holmes. Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.