We recently sold a patch of land in Tennessee. The first thing we did was pay the estimated taxes. I understand that I may be in the minority in my dearth of outrage related to taxes. I agree that there should be a limit to the percentage of the tax, but this is not really a financial blog. It is one of philosophy, so I will not diverge into the debate of how much, or what percent, but will try and keep to the sentiment that generally speaking I do not mind taxes.
I do know people who bombastically declaim the collection of taxes as offensive. When I ask them why, to the one they at some point comment that taxes go to support people who sit around and eat bon bons all day, and that they are sick of entitlements to those who don’t work. When I ask them who do they know that is receiving such assistance, they cannot identify anyone, they just use the nebulous ‘they’.
So I then bring up people I know who have received assistance.
* a young teenager who was pregnant and chose to keep the baby. She received food stamps and medical care for the baby. While caring for the baby she studied to get her GED, then she went on to become the Vice President of an Insurance Company.
* a young man and his wife received food stamps and medical care while they were trying to get established in a new state and work was hard to find. Now he works for Dish Network.
* a military man gave 20 years of service to the Air Force and receives retirement and social security.
* a young woman who received food stamps and medical assistance while she was a single mother without work. Now she works for a Cable Company.
* my daughter who has a disability receives food stamps, medical care, and housing assistance. She is trying hard to be independent and give back to society. She has worked in many jobs, usually losing them because of the special needs, or inabilities she has. Once for not being able to transfer from her wheel chair to a bar stool they wanted to place at the cashier register, once for taking too much time in the restroom for breaks. She can only get into the wheelchair stall, and I cannot tell you how many people use that stall because it has more room and is more comfortable for them. Kristen cannot get into another stall, so if she has to wait, her neurogenic bladder may not. Now a change of clothes is in order. Or if she gets in the stall, she has to self catheterize which takes longer than it takes others to go. Even with a doctor’s note and a full description of her process-employers just don’t like to make concessions. Yet, she will go out again and again to try and find gainful employment. A job service sent her to a place of employment with curbs and stairs; she couldn’t even get in the door for the interview! She had to call from the parking lot to explain her inability to get in. Of course-no job for her there. She will start at a place and have to miss for multiple doctor/ brace/ therapy appointments-let go again. She inspires me on her continued attempts. She is now considering volunteering at the local hospital or hospice so that she can give back to a society that is helping her.
These are the stories of people I have known who have received assistance because of my taxes. If someone knows a person who is receiving assistance who does not need it, that person should be named and an investigation should be initiated to review the situation. The nebulous ‘they’ has become tiresome to me.
“I like to pay taxes, with them I buy civilization.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr