Taxes as a “Blessing of Liberty”

April 15 is Tax Day

April 15 is Tax Day

Today is the day that individual taxes are due in the United States.  Many of us spend hours, if not days, preparing our paperwork to report our income and pay taxes/get a refund from our federal, state, and local governments.  April 15 is the day that all of these payments are due.

Lloyd E. Sheaffer a community columnist for Pennlive/The Patriot-News wrote an op-ed on Sunday, April 14 entitled “Taxes are the price we pay to protect our ‘blessings of liberty’: As I See It.”

Mr. Sheaffer makes an excellent argument as to why we have taxes and even if we don’t like doing the paperwork, we as a society need to pay for our “blessings of liberty” through our taxes.  As he states:

Our tax bill is the tab we pay to live in a democracy that allows all to live as free people, even free to criticize the very system that protects and supports its citizenry.

This support  includes funding for a wide variety of programs and institutions including maintaining our infrastructure (like roads and rail), ensuring our safety (like firefighters and police), improving and maintaining our health (like clean water and air and public health), ensuring justice (like funding courts and civil rights oversight), and creating “a greater chance for material and emotional prosperity if public education is fully funded and appropriately conducted.”

I fully agree with Mr. Schaeffer’s sentiments and suggest that you take a moment and read the full opinion piece.

Here are his closing comments.  I hope you take them to heart:

Nonetheless, if our citizenry can set aside the acrimony felt toward much of our constituted and ordained government and encourage elected officials at all levels to bring genuine reform to our maimed tax system, the day may come when citizens see paying taxes, not as an onerous legal obligation, but as a moral obligation that promotes a “more perfect Union” and truly “secures the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Until that time comes, sooner rather than later for the sake of us all, I hope you won’t mind paying your duty, even though you don’t like doing so.

“Happy” Tax Day.

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