Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe: Paying up

writer poet About Me Links Contact

Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

Paying up

Monday, April 12, 2010

In this morning’s Boston Globe James Carroll has a thoughtful column about “the true patriotism of paying taxes.” His point is that those protesters who take the Boston Tea Party as a rallying symbol misread its core message: taxes are not a burden imposed by an overreaching government. They are, by contrast, an affirmation of who we are as a united people and what we, together, are committed to accomplishing.

I am incensed at the co-opting of that historic name, that patriotic demand. That tea was thrown overboard for the right to have a government. Taxes are what makes it possible to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare.”

Are my taxes used in ways I sometimes regret? Definitely. (One word: Iraq.) In a democracy it doesn’t go your way all the time. But that’s why I vote. A pothole on my street was repaired the other day and the new playground around the corner has become a thriving neighborhood gathering spot. I have benefited from having a public education and from living among predominantly literate fellow citizens. I have benefited from national parks, food safety regulations, armed forces. I wish arts funding were less threatened and I wish library branches weren’t being closed, but I’m hoping that some of my tax dollars will support those things I feel are important.

I will be writing out a tax check that is bigger than I’d like. But paying my share feels only right. It’s my ticket of admission, my membership dues.

Labels: , ,

Post a Comment


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home