Friday, April 2, 2010

Thank You, Taxes!

Well this is an interesting campaign. While Tea Partiers prepare to protest paying some of the lowest personal taxes in the Western World, this group asks us to take a moment on April 15 to think about all the services we take for granted every day that are paid for by our taxes.

So I took a moment to think about every service I had used today that was paid for by taxes. And let me say, it was a little mind blowing.

Here’s how my day went. I woke up at 6 a.m. and took one of my dogs for a jog down Belmont Blvd. Sidewalks! Thank you, taxes!

Then Mr. Beale (who is off work today) joined me as we walked all three of our dogs to a small pocket park in our neighborhood. Again: sidewalks! Thank you, taxes! Our sidewalks are relatively new, and we spent years walking our dogs on a street where cars zoom by determined to see us tossed in a ditch. So one more time with feeling: Thank you, taxes!

The pocket park is a public park, no admission fee, and Metro Public Works keeps it mowed and the trash cans emptied. Thank you, taxes!

And then there are the dogs themselves. Two came from Metro Animal Control, one was dumped in the woods at a Federally-owned National Recreation Area where I once worked. So I think it’s fair to say my taxes are responsible for all three of my precious pups. (Furthermore, we get them vaccinated during the Metro Health Department’s Rabies Clinic each March, which costs just $10 and is much more affordable than what the vet charges. With three dogs and seven cats, that makes a huge difference.) Thank you, taxes!

It’s spring cleaning day, so after our morning dog walk we loaded up the car with old paint, batteries, dead CFL lightbulbs, electronics, etc. and headed to Metro Recycling to drop it all off. Now the area behind our garage no longer looks like a trash dump, and I can rest easy that these toxic items will be disposed of safely and not pollute someone’s drinking water. Thank you, taxes!

Of course, we took public highways, well maintained, to get to Metro Recycling. And then there are a bunch of other “givens” -- the people I interacted with were educated, involving a public school at some point (at the very least, both Mr. Beale and I are products of public schools); the fact that we live in a free country protected by our military; police and fire protection are a mere phone call away, etc. etc. And of course I’m posting an item on a blog on the internet which exists largely thanks to taxpayer-funded DARPA. And Al Gore.

It’s something worth thinking about.