Tax Day is a good time for all of us to consider what a fine mess we have gotten ourselves into.
Though some people want to pay more taxes, many others remind us regularly that they perceive their tax burden is too high.
Here’s an article from yesterday’s Washington Post that reminds us the problem is not easily relegated to “them.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, a Democrat, has cost taxpayers approximately $800,000 for weekend flights home to California. Panetta made these same flights as a congressman; at which time he flew commercial and paid his own way. As Secretary of Defense, though, a George W. Bush era policy dictates that the military fly him wherever he goes.
This is not a partisan issue. I hope next time you think or talk about taxes, taxation, tax rates, etc., you will remember this.
Everybody can name something they don’t want their taxes to pay for. Some of us can name a lot of things. At the same time, considering all the infrastructure and security that taxes have paid for over the years, we all also have to admit that not all taxation is bad taxation.
I don’t think that the real issue is taxation. I think the real issue is trust. We don’t trust the entities to which our taxes go. We have all fallen victim to sound bit political science that proves just how untrustworthy “they” are.
I suppose trust has always been a big issue for many people. I don’t know for sure because I realize I pay attention differently now than I used to.
Almost every young person in our care here at MCH has justifiable trust issues. One of the things we do try to help them restore their ability to trust.
Once upon a time I urged them to trust me and the rest of the staff. I soon realized this might not always work. Then I realized that the most important step of being able to trust is to be trustworthy.
So, today, Tax Day 2012, try this one: Ask not how much you should trust the USA; ask rather how much the USA can trust you.