Taxes are due on April 15th (today) and I am okay with paying them.
When I hear people complain about paying taxes, I point out that I like roads, supporting the military, having hospitals and education programs for pre-kindergarteners. I think supporting medical research, finding new sources of energy and providing care for older people is pretty cool. I like going to national parks and monuments and knowing that I can find useful information about most things from government web sites. I know that I am not being fashionable in my belief that paying taxes is okay but I consider it a good investment in our country and a responsibility no different from voting on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
I can appreciate that people don’t like paying taxes. We’d all rather have that money in our pocket and we all can agree that the government is not an efficient system and that everyone does not agree with how money is being spent by the government.
Research on this history of taxation suggests that people feel okay about paying taxes during periods of war, particularly, when spending was deemed to be just–the Civil War, WW I and WW II. Since then few have supported wars–Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan–leaving everyone with a bitter taste in having to support these efforts. I think it was too bad that when patriotic feelings were running high (after 9/11) we all weren’t asked to sacrifice a bit more to fund what seemed like a noble cause. Instead taxes were cut and any feeling we had as a nation pulling together was lost.
Now my accountant informs me that she has gotten me an extension since we didn’t have all the proper documents reviewed and completed. Perhaps that is what is making it a little easier for me this April. Check back with me August 15th and we’ll see how I am feeling. Hopefully all my taxes will be up to speed and perhaps I’ll even get back a little refund. I don’t mind paying my fair share, but I don’t think it is necessary to pay more than that!
© Richard Citrin 2013