Tax day is just around the corner so I figured it's time for my obligatory post about it. For half of all Americans, this is a day when our private property is seized by a bloated, incompetent, ineffective, inefficient federal government whose main purpose nowadays seems to be focused on taking that property and distributing it to the other 50% of the population as a legal means of bribery. All of this, of course, is done because that half of the population has the ability to vote. This is how the game is played. Getting elected and re-elected is what it's all about for our politicians and they all know that taking from an ever-shrinking portion of the population and giving to an ever-growing population is the perfect recipe for retaining power in Washington.
Therefore, my Constitutional right to private property is trampled about this time every year in order to fulfill some other person's non-Constitutional "right" to medical care, or retirement income, or child care, or food stamps, or education, or employment, or housing, etc. I just completed my tax returns for the year and I must say when I see how much of my labor and productivity goes to fund this nonsense it makes me physically ill.
So, the obvious question comes to mind: What do I get out of this? What am I buying for the money that I send to Washington? Whatever it is, it is way overpriced and I'm certain I could purchase it elsewhere without forking over a third of my total income. I mean, I understand that freedom isn't free and that it's important to fund our military. The defense budget represents about 18% of all federal expenditures and I'm more than happy to pay my share to fund it. Also, I'm fine with forking over a much smaller portion to fund our court system, justice department, homeland security, and to maintain our currency. But add it up and you're still well short of half the federal budget. The rest? Well, it mainly goes to subsidies, handouts as they are more commonly called. And that's when I wonder just what it is that I get in return? I think the answer is obvious. I get squat.
That brings me to the next question. Since I don't actually get any good or service for approximately half the money that I send to Washington; and since there are many US citizens who DO get something for my money; then what is it those people owe me in return?
Follow me, here. Our founding document, The Declaration of Independence, states clearly that all men are created equal. Therefore, I am equal in the eyes of the government to my neighbor who pays no taxes and yet draws money from the government in the form of some sort of handout. I have done nothing in the course of my lifetime to incur a debt to my neighbor, so legally I owe him nothing. Yet, I am legally forced to surrender a portion of my earnings to him nonetheless. Again, we are equal and I owe him nothing, but still my money is taken (without my consent) and given to him. Doesn't he then owe me something in return?
If you say no, then you are saying that I am somehow indebted to that person - which I am not - OR that his rights as a citizen supersede my rights, thus we are not "created equal". Either answer will make you look like a fool or worse.
So back to my original question: What do these people owe me? I admit it would be nice for someone who is latched on to the government teet to come over and help me clean my house, or cut my grass, or fold my laundry, or repaint my bathroom. At least then the government could justify the robbery that they commit every April, perhaps even to the point that it wouldn't be considered robbery at all but a very expensive lawn and laundry service. But we all know that won't happen.
So I guess I'll just have to settle for a simple thank you. Thank you for working hard, Mr. Taxpayer, so I don't have to, so I can have a free education, or drop my kid off at daycare every day, or have my prescription Viagra filled every month. Thank you, Mr. Taxpayer, for making sure that I can have this cushy government job with 30 hour work weeks, one month of paid vacation a year and gold-plated health plans. Thank you, Mr. Taxpayer, for making sure NPR stays on the air, broadcasting progressive propaganda that you don't even agree with. Thank you, Mr. Taxpayer, for funding our crappy schools so I can pull down my six figure salary and complain about not having enough money to "teach the children". Thank you, Mr Taxpayer, for the cowboy poetry, the turtle crossings, the oyster bed studies, the $200 screwdrivers, the reproductive counseling, the blasphemic art, the swine flatus investigations, the multi-million dollar airports that no one uses, the bridges to nowhere, the private congressional jets. Thank you for it all, Mr. Taxpayer. Without you none of it would be possible.
Something like that.
Well, I'm waiting...