From somewhere out there, via Texas, this crossed The Lion’s cyberdesk today:
Every year on April 15 I read about how hard we individuals work, and how the government steals our money and dumps it down a bunch of rat holes. Strangely, that’s not how I feel about taxes, so I thought that this April 15 I’d say something different:
I grew up hearing the story of how my grandfather stalled his creditors long enough for Roosevelt’s farm loan program to take effect. My father worked that farm all through my childhood, and my parents still own it today.
Thank you, taxpayers.
I went to a public high school and a state university. My graduate education was paid for by a National Science Foundation fellowship. Thanks.
My wife has had cancer twice and survived both times. I’ve never traced the history of the drugs and procedures that saved her life, but I’ll bet there’s some federally-funded basic research back there somewhere. Thanks.
I’ve lived with the benefit of government regulation all my life. My food has been inspected. My drugs have been tested. The SEC has watched the people who sell me investments. The FDIC has kept my bank accounts secure. God knows how many unsafe or fraudulent products were taken off the shelves before I could make the mistake of buying them. Thanks.
The air I breathe and the water I drink are cleaner than they were when I was in high school, because laws to clean them up were passed and enforced. Thanks.
I drive on interstate highways in cars that are safe because government regulators forced the car companies (kicking and screaming, usually) to make them safe. I ride in airplanes guided by federal air traffic controllers, often flown by pilots who learned their trade in the Air Force. And those planes probably wouldn’t exist at all without research paid for by the Pentagon. Thanks.
My parents are both in their upper 80s and failing. They live a thousand miles away. I don’t know how I’d be taking care of them if not for Social Security and Medicare. This past year several of my friends have been out of work. I’d have been seriously worried about them if there were no unemployment insurance. Thanks.
Thanks for the Internet, which started out as a federal program. Thanks for taking care of the poor, so that I don’t have to live in a place where people drop dead in the streets. Thanks for FEMA, which I haven’t needed yet, but you never know. Thanks for the CDC, and for all those infections that I haven’t been exposed to. Thanks for National Weather Service. Thanks for the national parks.
I’m sure I left some stuff out, but you get the idea. Thank you for paying your taxes. Thank you for participating in this society where we take care of each other, and where we buy stuff collectively that none of us could buy as individuals. (The free market can give us Disneyworld, but it takes a government to give us Yellowstone or Yosemite.)
Every day, I read about a government that steals our money, money that we earned by our own individual hard work, without any government help at all. I don’t know what planet those writers live on.
Maybe someday NASA will discover that planet. When they do, let’s not go there.