With everyone excited to receive their tax refunds, myself included, I can’t help but think of the H&R Block‘s “Get Your Billion Back” campaign. Undoubtedly there are plenty of people who are indignant at the thought of missing out on their share of that money, but all I could think was, Is it so bad that the government was able to use that money? Don’t get me wrong, I believe that everyone is entitled to the full value of their return under the purview of the law, but I don’t understand the pervasive public sentiment that taxes are exclusively a burden.
Right now most of us in Northeastern Pennsylvania are suffering through the rabbit-like proliferation of potholes on essentially every major roadway, and like most residents of a community, we expect those impediments to be remedied. Obviously those repair efforts are financed by the state, which in turn are financed by taxpayers. The running joke is that those repairs take months, if not years, but I can’t think of a single Pennsylvania driver who isn’t thankful that those repairs do, in fact, take place.
The same could be said for any tax-funded organization. I don’t worry about my house burning down when I leave for work because of an established fire code created and enforced. I don’t worry about getting fresh water piped into my home because that infrastructure is maintained, nor will I worry about my future children’s primary education because it has long been considered a basic human right in America. I am grateful for all those commonplace luxuries, as I’m sure most people are, and yet people forget that if we want these services, we must pay for them.
We are all are trying to make and keep as much money as we can. A decade later and we are still trying to escape from the recession. There is nothing wrong with being defensive of what we earn through our labor, but it is important to remember that we are all members of a society and so it is the responsibility of us all to keep it functioning.