Death and Taxes

jury selection

April 15th has become one of the most hated days on the year because the IRS decided that is the arbitrary day they require tax returns to be filed. This year, we had tea parties in many metropolitan areas in the United States to protest government and specifically taxes. It’s a sham. And it’s a shame.It is an argument I hated three years ago when liberals were upset that “their” tax dollars were going to Iraq and other useless arenas and they wanted their money back. Now, with a switch of affiliations in the White House, the parties do their typical flip-flop.

No one like to pay taxes. No one likes deficit spending. But no one has solutions that don’t sound like fortune cookies.

“Cut extraneous spending.” “Government is bloated.” Tell me where? What do you want to cut? Most of our budget goes to Social Security and Medicare, national defense, and paying off the interest on our debt. If you have student loans, you understand the last part. A majority of the payment you make each month is interest only. Think about it in the billions of dollars. None of these programs are considered “discretionary spending” or “pork” or whatever else you want to call it. Two are the most important programs in the nation. National defense leads to scientific research, protection, and is the fundamental rationale for our government to exist.

On the other side, we hear about new spending that is “necessary.” Or “Tax those who don’t pay taxes.” Everyone would love health care to be cheap and universal. But it’s not a simple solution. People would love to have clean air, but it costs a lot of money. But what is the give and take? We cannot tax the top 1% all the time since over 40% of people don’t even pay federal income tax.

Government is incredibly important. It is not as simple as low taxes or low spending or high taxes or high spending. Extremes do not lead anywhere.

We pay taxes because we belong to a society. Your money goes to the government to be used as you see fit. If you don’t like it, you change the leadership, or you change your homeland.

Think about it in market terms. If you own stock in McDonald’s and you hate the McChicken, you cannot call the CEO and say, hey, you have my money and I am a part of this, so take the McChicken off the menu. You have elected the CEO. He decides the menu. You eat the crap food. You don’t like that? You take your money and move on to a different stock. Or you vote for a different CEO. Or even worse, you stay out of the market.

Yes, it would be great to have the extra money. But you use the state, whether you know it or not. There is a reason why governments have always existed and have always taxed. They are necessary human constructs.

So, get over yourselves. You’re not the only people struggling to pay taxes, or who wish you didn’t have to pay them. If you don’t like taxes, find a place where you don’t pay them and see if you like it there. Nothing is perfect. But it is our role to decide what we need and what we want. If you don’t like it, vote. But come up with a solution. Don’t just whine.

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