Saturday, March 12, 2011

Taxing My Patience

I'm not trying to brag, but I make a lot of money.  Despite the fact that I am the only income earner in the household, we are very firmly in the top quintile of household incomes in the United States.

Commensurate with a large income is a large tax burden.  A larger percentage of my earnings are taken by income taxes and payroll taxes than were taken when I was a graduate student, for example.  But I don't mind -- it's part of my responsibility as a citizen.  I benefitted (and still continue to benefit) from others' tax outlays, so it's only fair that I do my part.

I do not understand those who seek to avoid paying their fair share of taxes through the extension of tax cuts and special exemptions for the wealthy.  Their avarice only serves to hurt the people around them, and ultimately themselves.  Why should programs like Head Start (proven to dramatically improve the future prospects of children in low-income families) be on the chopping block?  I am happy to fund programs like that, if for no other reason than that when I'm old, I'd much rather encounter these kids as my doctor or nurse rather than robbing my house for drug money.

It makes me sick to think that some people would prefer to have a larger number in their bank account instead of contributing to the general welfare of their country.  Paying taxes is patriotic, and helping those who are less fortunate is our duty.


rachel said...

You need a "like" button, like on Facebook!

Laura said...

Like! Like! :-)

I agree (though my tax percentage probably isn't as high as yours, haha).

I think that some people who disagree tend to think that the government isn't the best organization to help those who are worst-off. They'd say, let private charities take care of it and let us voluntarily donate rather than being forced to donate.

I say those people have a too-rosy view of human nature, however. Most of us are way less generous than we think we are. Sometimes it helps to be "forced" to do our fair share, by paying taxes.