…I wish I was an ignorant Republican, Inc-er.
I did my taxes last night. It was not pretty.
I had an instructor for Tax Accounting when I was Actorino212, and he once said something really profound.
Which is to say it would mean nothing to a Teabagger.
He said, “Never regret having a large tax bill at the end of the year. It means you made a lot of money and the IRS let you hang onto it for a few more months.”
I don’t mind paying taxes, although I cringe every April. See, I earned that money in the greatest nation on the planet. I consider it the price for furnishing this great nation with the tools and people who make it great for me to live and work in.
When I was a kid, I watched my dad struggle to put food on the table. He was a union man, and work was spotty. Some weeks we made do on a ham cooked on Sunday that lasted us until the following week. He never took a vacation, opting instead for long drives on long weekends, despite the fact that he was up at 4 to get to work by 6.
He banked all his vacation time, as well as sick time and whatever other days he could bank in the union coffers, in order to build a nest egg for his retirement. The first sick day I remember him taking was when he tore his bicep clean off his arm, trying to lift a steel beam that had fallen on one of his workers. The next one was when he had a heart attack.
As much as I disliked the man – you weren’t his son, you couldn’t know – I admired and respected his work ethic. He broke his ass in order to set up a comfortable retirement, even if it meant the family as a whole sacrificed.
He helped build schools, public schools, in an age where that meant something. An age where education was respected, and was mandatory if you wanted to get ahead in the world. In fact, all the schools I attended right up until high school had his fingerprints in the concrete. But he had a fourth grade education, and he knew we, his children, had to do better.
I suspect if he was alive today, assuming he was coherent, he’d blanch at the current environment where schools are seen as day-care until you can ship a kid to jail. Where public schools, the buildings he built, are mocked and denigrated as places of evil that teach our children all manner of Satanic beliefs like fair play, sharing, and tolerance.
Those schools were built with taxpayer money. The same bill I blanch at each April helps pay for those schools, and the roads the school buses drive on, and the police who protect those students as they walk the blocks to their schools and home again. It helps pay for the fire fighters who thrill those children when they go racing by to protect a home, maybe one of theirs. It helps pay to supply water to the school, and to take the waste, the trash and sewage, out so they can learn in a safe, clean environment.
I was terrified by my tax bill. Now, I’m furious.