Tomorrow federal and state income taxes are due.
A number of years ago I decided that for less stress it was worth it to me to have a professional do my taxes. So, sometime in February I gather up all my paperwork and make an appointment with my accountant. Several weeks later I hear back from him, pick up our tax forms, sign on the designated line and breath a sigh of relief. Most years we get a refund of some amount. This year we owe taxes to the federal government and we get a refund from New York.
I know in a bureaucracy the size of the federal government there is waste. Probably too much. I think too large a portion of my tax dollars is spent on defense and not enough to provide for a high quality education for all or to care for the most vulnerable in our midst. I am extremely frustrated by our elected officials inability to work together to address the issues which face our state and our county. But, with all that said, I don’t mind paying my taxes. In many ways I am even grateful. I am grateful I have a job in which I earn enough both to provide for my family and to pay taxes. I am grateful I don’t fear for my life when I walk out of my door or walk down the street. I realize that is not true for all of us, but it is true for most of us. I am grateful there are roads and national parks and stop signs and schools. I am even grateful that some portion of the taxes I pay (and I wish it were more) goes to help those who are less fortunate both down the street and halfway across the country and, even, halfway around the world.
Lately, privilege has become a highly politicized word.
But, I am privileged.
I am privileged…
To do what I do.
To live where I live.
To have the choices I have.
To enjoy the safety and freedoms which I do.
Even privileged to pay taxes to do my part to support what each and every one of us enjoys each and every day and too often take for granted.