Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy April 15!

I just finished my taxes and I want to say how Jim-dandy happy I am about the whole experience!

Actually, the only real problem I had with the whole thing was the stupid e-filing software package I bought, which required 4 hours of trying various workarounds to get it to accept my deductions. Listing the child credit as reimbursement for pain and suffering probably didn't help, but still.

I almost like paying taxes. Note I said almost. I doubt that anyone really enjoys it. Still, I get schools and roads and fire departments and police and courts and national defense and the SEC, FTC, FAA, and EPA, just to name a few of the benefits. As part of the upper-middle class, I use my share of these services, probably way more than the average poor person, so if I can help cover some of the cost, than good for all of us.

Besides, when I hear the stories about how government should run more like a business (hat tip to our first MBA president, George W. Bush, the "W" stands for "We're fucked!"), I have to laugh. Government's big and big organizations are inefficient. I've worked for Fortune 100 companies that make our friends in the Washington bureaucracy look like libertarian entrepreneurs. I've worked with the military, the one type of government that conservatives love, and wouldn't suggest using that as a role model for how to run things. On the other hand, I've worked with small nonprofits and local units of government that are amazingly efficient. Government, private enterprise, in my experience people aren't very different. In the end, the further away one gets from one's revenue source, the easier it is to take it for granted.

That's not really the point, however. The point is, things cost money. Navies and hospitals and education and everything else that we get from government cost money. They cost a whole bunch of money, more than I can really claim to grasp.

But that's alright, because I'm only paying a tiny little share. A statistically insignificant piece, from everybody's perspective but my own. And that's alright too, because when all those statistically insignificant contributions get put together, we've not only built a warship or an emergency room or a high school, we've built a civilization. And while that's sometimes an ugly process, and sometimes a painful one, in the end it's one I feel pretty good about.

6 comments:

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I totally agree with your post! I did my taxes two months ago and I am happy that I am one of the 60% of MA residents who do them early.

That means...we get our money back sooner!!

:)

Mandos said...

Thank you for paying your taxes! I am a Canadian living in the US on your dime, and I frequently take your money and spend it in Canada. Hurrah!

Snag said...

AG, glad to hear you're getting money back. Can I have some of it?

As for you, Mandos, thanks for wrecking my good feelings about this whole process.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Mandos, that's total bullshit. You are required to pay taxes in America and Canada, if you receive Canadian funds. If you are not working, that's fine. However, if you are working and not paying taxes, you are breaking the law and AG will report yer ass.

And Snag, no, you may not! After your little snarky comment at 3Fools, you are not in the good graces of AG!

Mandos said...

I am receiving *American* funds, from the *American* government. Any taxes I pay are just like a wage clawback. The taxes I pay in the US are deductible in Canada, mostly.

So yeah, your taxes are funding my lavish graduate welfare queen lifestyle.

Snag said...

And you'll be taking your fancy book-learning back north, Mandos, where you'll plot your evil Canadofascist plots, Oh, you're a clever peoples.