>Thank You, Taxes!

>Well this is an interesting campaign. While Tea Partiers prepare to protest paying some of the lowest personal taxes in the Western World, this group asks us to take a moment on April 15 to think about all the services we take for granted every day that are paid for by our taxes.

So I took a moment to think about every service I had used today that was paid for by taxes. And let me say, it was a little mind blowing.

Here’s how my day went. I woke up at 6 a.m. and took one of my dogs for a jog down Belmont Blvd. Sidewalks! Thank you, taxes!

Then Mr. Beale (who is off work today) joined me as we walked all three of our dogs to a small pocket park in our neighborhood. Again: sidewalks! Thank you, taxes! Our sidewalks are relatively new, and we spent years walking our dogs on a street where cars zoom by determined to see us tossed in a ditch. So one more time with feeling: Thank you, taxes!

The pocket park is a public park, no admission fee, and Metro Public Works keeps it mowed and the trash cans emptied. Thank you, taxes!

And then there are the dogs themselves. Two came from Metro Animal Control, one was dumped in the woods at a Federally-owned National Recreation Area where I once worked. So I think it’s fair to say my taxes are responsible for all three of my precious pups. (Furthermore, we get them vaccinated during the Metro Health Department’s Rabies Clinic each March, which costs just $10 and is much more affordable than what the vet charges. With three dogs and seven cats, that makes a huge difference.) Thank you, taxes!

It’s spring cleaning day, so after our morning dog walk we loaded up the car with old paint, batteries, dead CFL lightbulbs, electronics, etc. and headed to Metro Recycling to drop it all off. Now the area behind our garage no longer looks like a trash dump, and I can rest easy that these toxic items will be disposed of safely and not pollute someone’s drinking water. Thank you, taxes!

Of course, we took public highways, well maintained, to get to Metro Recycling. And then there are a bunch of other “givens” — the people I interacted with were educated, involving a public school at some point (at the very least, both Mr. Beale and I are products of public schools); the fact that we live in a free country protected by our military; police and fire protection are a mere phone call away, etc. etc. And of course I’m posting an item on a blog on the internet which exists largely thanks to taxpayer-funded DARPA. And Al Gore.

It’s something worth thinking about.

31 Comments

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31 responses to “>Thank You, Taxes!

  1. >Your point being, some taxes are necessary and needed for the public good. Well and good; if not misused.Where the problem is I think are taxes taken and misused by freeloaders who have no other way and want no other way to support their lives. Oh, and the fact that many, many taxes are taken and used by one particular party to influence the votes of the aforementioned always-needy; to keep them voting the 'needy' way. A form of nuanced slavery, a tax-vote feedback loop.So, let's call these people who would take without qualms or desire to ever repay what they've taken, at some point, and call them 'moochers'. And call the politicians who entice these worthless moochers with other people's money 'looters'. There's the difference between responsible dog walkers (who I just know carry pails and mini-shovels to pick up the smelly litter) who feel oh-so-uplifted by recycling waste, vs. human debris who haven't a care as to who pays their way, just so long as someone else pays their way. I don't mind taxes going for use by responsible, respectable people.I just can't stand moochers and looters.

  2. >Aren't we all moochers and looters somehow? This entire country has been built on mooching and looting. No one's hands are clean.And I carry plastic bags to pick up my dog poop, though I have a neighbor (a staunch conservative, I might add), who carries a pooper-scooper. Something both sides can agree on, it seems.

  3. >Aren't we all moochers and looters? Well, I've kept my mooching to near-insignificant. I don't take anyone's good or services without a plan to pay for it. There are some of us like that, you know. Oh, and who is John Galt?

  4. >Then you are in deep denial about the legacy and history that has brought you the privilege of calling yourself an American.

  5. >Ummmm…no. There were no past moochers in my family tree.Are you saying we are a nation of moochers, always have been, always will be? Truly, we are not all socialists now, and over the two and a third centuries of our existence, we have not embraced the sort of looter – moocher government we've in power now. Well, there was LBJ's Great Society, and FDR's first attempts at socializing, but they were small potatoes compared to the amounts of money that are at stake today. You realize that we, as a nation, are broke, right? That every man, woman and child right this minute owes right at $200K each for their share of the national debt? That we borrow most of the money to keep our government afloat from the Saudis, the Japanese, and the Chinese? That Social Security is now operating in the red for the first time ever, and that wasn't predicted to happen until 2016?Deep doo-doo, we are in it. I'm sincerely troubled.

  6. >serr8d lives in the wrong state.Tennessee gets $1.27 for ever federal tax dollar paid. He lives in a welfare state. He should find a nice, red state that gets $1 for $1..

  7. >Galt?Hahahahaha!Why not move to Somalia, and live out Galt's paradise, Rusty? No government! No taxes! The real John Galt would not be as cowardly as you, sucking off the tit, while calling all other tit-suckers "inferior.".

  8. >Yes and that $200K of national debt (I've seen other figures but I'll go with yours) started during Carter's administration and was added to by every single president since including Sainted Ronnie Reagan and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush etc. etc. etc. Remember Dick Cheney said "deficits don't matter."Your American birthright is a legacy of slavery, and the modern version which is cheap labor from south of the border and the sweatshops in third world countries that enable us to live a life of luxury. You're as much of a moocher as I am or as any of us are. We have the world's highest standard of living by virtue of our willingness to oppress people.The difference between you and me is that I am willing to admit it and you are not.

  9. >Jeffraham! You're still alive. I was truly concerned; you looked a bit peaked in that Christmas video.You still live, feeding two cats, or have you had to eat 'em yet? )Nah, you're all right by me. I hope you find a job you can keep for a few weeks straight. And never run out of cat litter. Oh, and Tennessee might get that extra money of which you speak, but I don't get it. There's a big wall between it and me. Better you than me, I suppose, to get that extra moocher money. I always feel bad if I take something from someone and can't repay (or I would feel bad about it, if it ever happened).tw: liction(what you've done to Obama's knob is pathetic~1! )

  10. >I have no personal slaves; I own no sweatshops. I have no 'white guilt' that people who lived hundreds of years before I was born had slaves, either. None of my tree had 'em; I've checked. None of my tree was enslaved either, at least not for the couple three hundred years I've searched. And as for other countries, well, we import goods that sell. If we didn't buy goods from China, how else would China have all that extra money to loan us, to buy our debt? We buy oil, billions of barrels a year from overseas (or Mexico) and send money for it. We do good things with that oil; I've no worries about that either.You, eaten up with guilt and remorse and hatred for this country and it's past, are part of the problem. I believe in American Exceptionalism, and will do what ever I can to keep us going forward, so my kids and grandkids can have the same sort of things I've had. You would end all of that, with your dirty socialisms and Barack Hussein Obama and progressive thoughts.It's gonna get real bad soon enough I'm afraid. This country won't go down without a fight. We've had one doozy already.Let's hope we can make it until November.

  11. >If you can't stand moochers and looters, you must not be a Republican. All they've ever done is rape,pillage and plunder for their own benefit, all while suckering in low-information voters with God, Guns and Gays, and things like the myth of the Welfare Queen. Slavery? Talk to your Republican masters, who want us all to be nothing more than Corporate Wage Slaves. Feh. Come back when you actually know something about the history of this country and how things work.

  12. >Debating with Serrtaint is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. It's pointless and painful, but it gives you something to look forward to–stopping.Like most republitards he thinks that the democrats are the ones who've spent this country into the poor house. The actuality is that Ronald Reagan doubled the existing US debt while in office and George W. Bush added some more zeroes. The debt was being paid down under Clinton, but that's something that the reptards don't like to think about–it makes their small brains hurt.

  13. >I have no personal slaves; I own no sweatshops. Oh nooo of course not, and if you partake of the spoils of such practices, who can blame you? It's not YOUR fault that tomato pickers are paid slave wages and the cotton cartels poison the environment forcing people to work in sweatshops that make your clothing and other goods. Surely YOUR hands are clean!Which is the greater sin: knowing one's standard of living is built upon such exploitation but being powerless to do anything about it, or living deep in denial that anything is wrong at all?

  14. >Which is the greater sin: knowing one's standard of living is built upon such exploitation but being powerless to do anything about it, or living deep in denial that anything is wrong at all?Then why, O arbiter of Other People's Souls, have you not rent your garments, forsaken your Belmont home and sold all your worldly goods and possessions and given all the proceeds to the poor of other nations? Show me the way, enlightened one! Give up everything you own and take a vow of poverty.(Or, just give a couple ten thousand dollars to Jeffraham so's he can feed his damned cats, and buy a proper motorcycle, so he doesn't have to ride sidesaddle! Can't you even do that much? )

  15. >Oh, and the mindless one shows up. The problem with people like poor pitiable 'democommie' is that he has no proper, real and substantive life; nothing at all except his pinpoint hatreds for all of that what he could never be. Jealousy and hatred are the twin sisters of discontent; best to turn them away early, or they move in for the rest of your life, and mostly make you miserable. Oh, wait, it might be a bit late, in your case…Some people, 'democommie', just weren't born with enough of the better genetics. Blame your parent's poor choices for your lot in life, not your political betters.

  16. >Serrtaint is such a rich source of wisdom on so many issues. He doesn't use taxpayer funded assest, unless of course he chooses to leave mommy's basement to replenish his stocks of Cheetoz, Mountain Doo and Grizzly Smokeless. Another unwitting tool of his GOPrick masters.I don't, btw, hate you, stupid. I do disdain you and your ilk. Hate is too much work to waste on wimps like you.

  17. >Then why, O arbiter of Other People's Souls, have you not rent your garments, forsaken your Belmont home and sold all your worldly goods and possessions and given all the proceeds to the poor of other nations? Because I'm a sinner?

  18. >Why not move to Somalia, and live out Galt's paradise, Rusty? No government! No taxes! The real John Galt would not be as cowardly as you, sucking off the tit, while calling all other tit-suckers "inferior."How original… I was unaware that Galt (Rand) was an Anarchist.

  19. Jim

    >Thank you taxes, because of you I get to see ~ 48% of the population pay no federal income taxes. Glad to see EVERYONE paying their fair share right?

  20. >Jim:You no doubt have hard data to back up that claim. That hard data would need to come from the gummint, not some conservative think tank such as the "non partisan" Tax Foundation. I spent some time looking and couldn't find anything that leads me to believe your numbers are accurate, see if you can prove the numbers are reality based.And while you're looking at those numbers, check out what the megacorps are paying (hint–nothing in many cases).mikey sez:"How original… I was unaware that Galt (Rand) was an Anarchist."Gault's idea of a perfect world was one in which the government was totally laissez faire, at least per his creator, Ayn Rand.She doesn't go into any great detail about whether that would include the government offering such public services as police, fire protection, roads, water and sewer, etc.,. Of course Galt, if he were real and living today would simply get an AR-15 with a 30 round mag, a Barrett M468 and a Barret in .50 caliber or maybe the brandynew Barrett 82A1 for long distance threat suppression, jest in case them jackbooted IRS pencilnecks tried to come and get his money. Because John Galt is a BY GOD REAL AmeriKKKan!

  21. Jim

    >http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10068/effective_tax_rates_2006.pdfDemo – the CBO reports that in 2006 the bottom 2 quintiles (40%) had negative federal income tax liabilities. The 47% is an estimate based on current tax laws for 2009.

  22. >Jim:An estimate is not a fact–but it sure gets reported as one by the Tax Foundation. Also, those two lower quintiles include virtually every part-time worker in the system, as well as a lot of working poor. The Tax Foundatiion (which, despite their protestations to the contrary, IS a partisan organization–the party of the wealthy) breathlessly reports that REAL americans are getting fucked by the gummint so the gummint can give their money to the shiftless layabouts who don't wanna work. It's a load of bullshit. If they wanted to tell the truth about the economy, it's drivers, the tax system and the beneficiaries of the system they'd have to kiss all of their funding good-bye.

  23. Jim

    >Ok, so does this mean in fact that in 2006 ~ 40% of the people paid no federal income taxes though? Does it matter that these people are only part time workers or the working poor? Shouldn't they pay their fair share of income taxes like everyone else is expected to?2006 is the latest year data was available from the government. Want to place a bet on what the numbers will show for 2009 when the government gets around to releasing the figures?

  24. >Jim,if you're saying that they should pay their "fair share", do you mean that they shouldn't be allowed to take the standard deduction and exemption, as well as any other adjustments to income, including credits that they are allowed by the IRS? I pay taxes on my income (which is actually my savings) at the same rate as I did when I was employed. That's just the way that the tax code is written. Are you willing to forego your deductions in order to pay from first dollar as you seem to suggest these people should?Have you had an opportunity to look and see how much federal income tax was paid by ExxonMobil last year. Hint–vanishinly small %age of the 45B they made in pre-tax profits.I almost forgot. You want to know what the 2009 numbers will look like? I won't even guess, but I will guess that because of the Wall Street Meltdown there will be a lot of formerly somewhat wealthier folks who will be writing off losses. Do you think that those "freeloaders" should be allowed to do that. How about those that are getting that $8K "handout" for buying a house, or up to $1500 tax credit for spending at least three times that much to uprgrade the efficiency of their homes. Goddamned welfare kings and queens; off with their heads!

  25. Jim

    >Demo – now you are talking. Lets do away with all of the deductions, set a tax rate and then your tax return is income * tax rate = taxes owed. I am 100% for this even knowing that I would personally lose several deductions that you listed.Now you and others complain that Exxon takes advantage of the tax code by writing off losses and using other lawful deductions to reduce their tax burden, but see no problem with poorer people doing so. I on the other hand am for everyone paying their fair share as noted above. Even if it ends up costing me more in taxes, I would at least feel everyone was in the same boat, and it would save me 20-40 hours of not having to do my taxes each year.

  26. >"Now you and others complain that Exxon takes advantage of the tax code by writing off losses and using other lawful deductions to reduce their tax burden, but see no problem with poorer people doing so."Oh, a flat tax guy? Sure, how about 30% of everything that everyone earns, no exceptions, no deductions, no credits. Then we can have good healthcare, a strong military. great schools and adequate housing and nutrition for all americans instead of just the ones who, currently enjoying those benefits, think that their entitlements are deserved while the entitlements of others are not.When the rest of us are able to erect offshore corporations that sit in tax havens–or that practice is outlawed for everyone, corporate "persons" included, then you might have a shot at a fair tax system. Since the chances of that happening are roughly the same as my chances for hitting lottery gigunda, I think I'll stick with the clumsy system we have.Another thing overlooked in the "pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps" bromided is that if EVERYBODY makes a lot of money–prices for everything will rise. That is nearly as certain as death and taxes.

  27. Jim

    >Demo – if that 30% covered all of my tax liability for state and federal then yeah I could live with that. It would probably be an overall drop in what I pay in taxes now. If you think we need 30% to pay for everything on top of all the other taxes then I would say you are probably 10-15% too high.

  28. >Demo – Do you really believe we can have all of that when we've got a government with an insatiable appetite for money which they then spend like a teenage girl with her parents credit card?We already see it now. The cry is "raise taxes" rather than "cut spending & burecracy" As long as government behaves that way we have a problem. Have a flat tax? Great, but soon the government will say "hey' that's not enough, we need MORE" and raise the tax rate.

  29. >So, it sounds like Jim actually has some thoughts on this. mikey on the other hand is doing what he always does–blaming an amorphous entity about which his only thought is "they are my enemies". Jim:Oh, no, that's not all of your taxes, just your income tax. I made no mention of national health care or old age benefits. Those would of course, be separate. Then we would have a tax structure like all of those terrible places in europe that do that sort of thing. I am not a fan of paying taxes. I am also not living in a bubble. You want to save some money? What are you, personally, willing to give up to get your taxes reduced? Schools, roads, police and fire protection, federal emergency assistance, the military? All of those are supported by taxes.

  30. Jim

    >"What are you, personally, willing to give up to get your taxes reduced?"I would reduce federal spending on the military (alot). I would eliminate SS, Medicare, and Medicaid on a federal level and let states decide if they want to offer these programs on their own. Federal dollars on education would also be eliminated as that is a state issue as well. Federal spending on roads, police, and fire (does federa money cover fire?) would be limited to interstate construction, FBI, CIA, and other federal police forces, and no fire protection – again these are mostly local issues.Now I believe the savings would come in local politicians being a little more accountable to the votng public than the federal government is. Not a whole lot, but somewhat at least. So overall federal taxes would go way down, while state and local taxes would naturally increase, with more input from the local residents on what programs they are willing to support.So overall

  31. >Ah, so Jim is a Libertarian who, at least thus far in this life, has not had an opportunity to decide that he'd rather let a loved one die than lose his house. Hell, Jim, we can get rid of all of those benefits that you don't want and go back to tollroads, state tariffs and poor houses. Yeah, that'll work.