I am proud to pay taxes because I take pride in America, and paying some tiny burden to keep our society running is an extremely small price to pay for being able to call myself an American citizen. The old expression ‘you get what you pay for’ is apt for all sorts of situations. People tend to express what they value in how much they are willing to pay for it. I am willing and feel privileged for the right to pay for my country. The right-wing is embittered to do so, if they do so at all. And that, more than anything, says something about how much they value this experiment called America.
Indeed it does. Wendell Holmes called taxes “the price we pay for civilization,” and he too was correct.
It’s not that paying taxes is fun, but I know that what I send the government goes to protect our National Parks, to fund medical and scientific research, and to protect our soldiers. I’m proud that some of my tax money will pay salaries for the public servants who make sure our air and water stay clean, and who help restore polluted sites to their former glory. My taxes help build the roads I use, sustain family farms, feed the hungry here and abroad, and prevent children from dying of treatable diseases. My tax dollars help keep guns out of the hands of gangs and criminals, and they help keep criminals off the streets. They provide schools and afterschool programs that keep kids away from crime and prepare them to make the world an even better place.
It’s unfortunate that a big chunk of it goes to pay interest on the debt that we’ve run up, but that’s the cost of living in a society where people want something for nothing. I wish I could allocate the money differently, but that wish is the cost of living in a democracy, one I pay gladly.