Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I've been thinking about how wealthy I am. No one in the NBA or NFL would think I am wealthy, nor would Bill Gates or Warren Buffet; but I live indoors, I have more food available than I can eat, I have a car that gets me from point A to point B, more clothes than I have room for and STUFF!

As I get older, I'm back to giving a lot to charity. When I was in my twenties and thought a $10,000 per year salary was more than excellent, I gave freely of my time and treasure. While I was bringing up children and facing some difficult months, I was less faithful about giving. In the October of my life, I find that I have more than I need to live, so I give more away. I think about how so much of the world has too little and feel guilty about having too much.

Giving feels really good, whether it is to a charity, an educational institution or a church. It also feels good to hire experts to do things I'm not quite qualified to do.

My husband and I were talking about taxes (which he hates), and I realized that there is something wrong with me. I enjoy paying taxes. It means that I have plenty and can freely support national defense, a system of super highways, schools, police and fire protection, public health departments in the jurisdictions where I own property. I can also support public libraries and schools that at least pretend to educate the next generation. My tax dollars support services for old people who need places to interact with others and health care for those who can't afford private health insurance. My taxes ensure that executives at failing banks and auto makers can continue to live lavishly (I'm not thrilled about that); and that defense and highway contractors can continue to buy yachts and McMansions (that does not particularly thrill me, either).

Some wise person (I think it was Winston Churchhill) said that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. Despite all the tax protesters, taxes in the US are relatively low, compared to the rest of the developed world. I think I prefer taxes to infant mortality, bad roads, homelessness, poor police and fire protection. I would like more child care so that single parents can work knowing their children are safe. I would like longer school days so that children could learn how to live. I would like to see larger tax deductions for children. I would like to see more and better public transportation both locally and nationally. I'm willing to pay for services I'll never use because that improves the society in which I live. I'm a fan of taxes and of citizens watching how those taxes are spent.


  1. I think Churchill said, "Egads, I'm almost out of gin."

    The first paragraph of this post is strangely timely for a reason too long to get into.

  2. I wish everyone felt the way you do about taxes. :)