18 January 2013

Friday Top 5

For the self-employed, the end of January means time to pay quarterly and annual estimated business taxes. It's a lot of somewhat confusing forms (thank goodness I followed the advice to hire an accountant, because trying to do this myself would, no doubt, have driven me around the bend). And it's easy to be grouchy about writing the checks and scheduling the electronic payments.

I've decided to take another tack. Top Five Things that are GREAT about paying my taxes:
  1. Americans are too often thought of and described as "consumers." This is part of being a citizen, which I think is much more important descriptor. 
  2. My taxes fund universal public education. Of course the education system is not perfect, but education is the number one potential equalizer in our society. I did write "potential" intentionally, because we have a long way to go before all kids get the excellent educations they deserve, but at least my tax dollars ensure that everyone gets a chance.
  3. My taxes are used for "mundane" good, like ensuring clean water and air and safe roads and bridges.
  4. My taxes are used for "big vision" good, like providing at least a minimal social safety net for people who have been less lucky in life that I have, and supporting a legal system that, for all its flaws, generally bends our moral arc toward justice.
  5. My taxes support myriad things I personally benefit from every day and don't even notice.
So instead of boo-hooing, I'm focusing on the fact that I'm proudly doing my patriotic duty as part of the larger community we call the United States.

Image credit: Wikipedia author Jnn13