by Kate Morrison
(first published in the April 2011 issue of The Funny Times)
It’s tax season again and I feel angry and ripped off. I hate to pay my taxes. I only have three kids in public schools and although I have 5 library books right now, I could have gotten them on Amazon. I did set my kitchen on fire once but technically I had the fire out before the fire department arrived. And despite my relief that 911 sent help years ago when my then 4 year old “ran away,” in hindsight I’m not so sure I really wanted him back.
I don’t think twice before leaving my house, going out to dinner, or driving across the state. I assume the roads will be there and we will not be kidnapped or robbed by raving marauders. I have no use for snowplows; I drive a 4-wheel SUV. Everyone knows homeland security is just a big joke – and an even bigger inconvenience.
I think paved roads, traffic lights, bridges and police protection are over rated. There is no need to belabor the point of a good public water and sewer system, regardless of what you may say it did for hygiene, health and medicine.
I prefer to think these things are here because they’ve always been here, not because my tax dollars pay for them; not because my parents, grandparents and great grandparents paid for them. Me? I want war and justice without rations and war efforts; a smooth running, safe society at no cost. “Just make mine a double shot with soy milk please… and have you got Wi-Fi here?”
I feel justified to look for and take advantage of every possible way not to pay my fair share. My family quilt is made of loopholes. I think it’s because I just hate to give up my money for the collective good. It seems unfair somehow. I think someone else is paying less or getting more or in the very least, I could do it all better.
I don’t believe the day is coming when we will not enjoy the many benefits derived from our tax dollars; or that my children will pay for the infrastructure and wars that my generation skipped in lieu of Botox, Starbucks, and flat screen TV’s. We’ll be proudly known as the generation that gave up our mortgage payments but kept the cable.
I know all this sounds bad, but you have to understand- this is an expensive lifestyle to keep up; I cannot afford to pay my taxes. And why should I with so much waste in government and so many dishonest politicians? Other than clean air, relatively safe food, and flushing the toilet 7300 times a year – what do I really get for my money?
I suppose there is my sister, who’s sort of raising her three children on the public dole. She and her husband are both public school teachers (they’re not very good at sports or acting). I’m not sure it’s worth paying teachers to spend 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, with the majority of the nation’s children; not to mention interacting with their parents.
Why acknowledge that my father worked for the state I grew up in, or that I was educated in public schools and then at a state university? What’s that got to do with anything?
Really, I just hate to pay my taxes. I’ll pay, but as little as I have to – and I’ll complain and resent it all the way to my accountant’s office and back. Then I’ll console myself with worthless consumerism, anesthetize myself with cable and intoxicate myself at a tea party. I mean, aside from the whole tax thing, I do love being an American.