My husband was so organized this year that we delivered all our records to the accountant a week ago, and apparently all his other clients hadn't, so the tax returns are already finished and we went over to sign them this morning. In this increasingly mean and nasty political winter of discontent, I want to go on record as saying that I don't begrudge a single penny of the taxes we paid, and in fact I wish that people like us, who have been so blessed by our country and our economy, would be asked to pay more.
Let's don't get all mushy about poor people or old people or sick people or kids -- let them fend for themselves. Let's just talk about me.
I'm thankful that I live one mile from an interstate highway on which I can drive safely and quickly to visit my sister or flit off on a museum day trip, voyages that in the old days would have taken three times as long. I'm delighted that when I got on an airplane recently, its path through the skies was supervised by air traffic controllers. I like to log onto the National Weather Service website and see whether there's time for my walk before the rain gets here.
I sleep easier at night knowing that a police station is a half mile away and a fire station only a bit farther, and it's nice having my garbage collected at the curb rather than having to take it to the dump and pay to leave it. I'm glad my granddaughter goes to a good public school (but wish we would spend more on education so she could have an even better one).
Much of the good fortune that allows me to indulge my love of art all day instead of working as a greeter at Wal-Mart is due to our investments, not to mention Social Security and Medicare. Not only am I glad the FDIC insures my bank balance, I'm glad that the SEC is on the alert to watch over the activities of the corporations in which I have placed my trust and my money. In fact, the occasions in the last decade where our finances suffered came about largely because the regulators were asleep at the switch, allowing Enron to operate a shell game, allowing banks and insurers to issue worthless derivatives that had to be bailed out.
I'm happy that the FDA inspects the meat, fish, produce, milk and eggs at my grocery (although I really wish they would have more resources so thay could do a whole lot better job of it). I'm happy they require manufacturers to test the medical devices that were implanted in my parents and my husband and the drugs that are so enthusiastically pitched at me every day on TV. I'm happy that processed foods are required to have nutrition labels so I know what I'm buying. I'm happy that Honda was required to install seatbelts, perform crash tests and tell me how many miles per gallon I'd get.
And I'm profoundly thankful that our armed services are there to protect me from the various evils of the world.
Without these government services my life would be a whole lot less comfortable and pleasant. I think it's reasonable for me and other people to pay our fair share to receive them. And I think it's dishonest, hypocritical, selfish and short-sighted for politicians and voters to build a world view on the foundation of less government and lower taxes. Not to mention all those poor people, old people and sick people and kids who get thrown out with the bath water.