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Taxes: I’m a believer

March 5, 2009

Well, it’s tax season. I filed my federal and D.C. tax returns a bit earlier than usual this year because for me it’s also graduate school financial aid season. This round of taxes was also special for another reason. This year I grumbled less about paying federal taxes than usual. I assume everyone else does this too.. isn’t the general assumption that no ones likes to pay taxes? But why was I fine, even enthusiastic about it this year? I can think of several root causes.

  1. Ok, first the greed. I’m getting a large tax refund because the federal government didn’t send me my rebate last spring.
  2. There is a D.C. voting rights bill moving through Congress right now, which means that I might actually get some representation in return for my tax dollars. The founding principle of our country might just be alive and well again.
  3. FCNL has got to me. I now deeply believe that taxes are the price of democracy.

Sick of my wide-eyed lefty mooning over the importance of taxes? This article on one of my fav blogs, The Morning News, describes the feeling of being sucked into the federal bureaucracy. Also, in this week’s New Yorker, there is an excerpt of David Foster Wallace’s unfinished final novel, which also delves into the tedium of taxes and working for the IRS (it’s about more than that, but focus — this post is about taxes).

Those pieces are entertaining, touching and worthwhile, but I still believe that they are the price of good government, and we should embrace them. Taxes are great! If we were willing to pay more of them maybe we would have functioning schools and health care for everyone! I’ve never understood what’s so wrong about that.

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