Taxes: money well spent

Several weeks ago I finished my taxes and tomorrow I pay the additional $1k I owe the federal government (not the $5k – $7k as I originally estimated). As I do so, I reflect on how I believe I get a great return on the taxes I pay – both federal, state, and local.

My social security taxes aren’t funding my retirement (that depends on my nieces, nephews, and their children) but it does pay for my 3 grandparents’ retirement. Ditto Medicare. My federal income taxes go to a whole array of things, the ones that immediately come to mind:

  • education funding for my nieces and nephews — and my parents and grandparents’ taxes enabled me to have college loans
  • assisting the less fortunate with Medicaid and other assistance programs
  • highway construction and maintenance
  • food and drug safety
  • disease prevention & medical research
  • amazing astronomy research and all the other mind-blowing exploration NASA does (stop and consider we have machines on Mars. Mars people!)
  • and tons of others that I’m not thinking about but take advantage of daily

Are there inefficiencies in the system I wish didn’t exist? Yes. Are there areas I wish my taxes didn’t fund? You bet. But government is an imperfect system and we should never let the goal of perfection be the enemy of the good.

Politicians: stop trying to lower my taxes — or claiming to be able to lower my taxes. You’d be better served educating people about what services they receive from their taxes than selling them the pipe dream of lower taxes with the same level of services.