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There are certain dates that are ingrained in your memories. These certain dates will always remind you of something. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or the day of a historically important date, there are just certain dates on the calendar that stand out.
April 15th is one of those days.
Paying taxes feels like walking up to Count Dracula, offering up your neck and saying, “Try to take it easy this time, pal.”
Count Dracula smiles, showing off his pointy canines, and says, “Don’t worry, I will only take about of third of your blood minus any deductions or income credits you might have.”
Or maybe it’s like that scene in “There Will Be Blood” where the main character is talking about draining off oil from a field he doesn’t own.
Tax Day is like the IRS yelling, “I drink your MILKSHAKE!”
But I like my milkshake. I worked hard for my milkshake, and I’m not crazy about sharing my milkshake.
But then I drive down the paved roads that are generally well-maintained and passable.
I see a school bus full of eager young minds heading off to receive a pretty good education at little or no direct cost to parents.
I arrive at my office which has not been broken into overnight because taxpayer-funded law enforcement officers were patrolling the streets last night making sure the community was safe from roaming bands of criminals.
If I want to do some research on how tax dollars are spent and the history of the IRS, all I have to do is head down to the local library, check out a few reference books or maybe a best-seller if the mood strikes me – all free of charge thanks to tax dollars.
I can go get some lunch, confident that whatever food I purchase has been inspected and the chance of coming in contact with some kind of food-borne bacteria is fairly low because government inspectors have done their job.
I can stop by the extension service office and find out new ways to grow my own food or save a few dollars around the house – courtesy of my tax dollars.
I can look out on the beauty of Owen County and know that the water that flows through the creeks and streams will support life because governmental regulations keep pollution at bay.
If I have a wreck on the way home, I know that professional men and women trained and equipped at taxpayer expense will be on the spot as soon as possible to help me in any way possible.
I’m not a big fan of the government taking my money. There are plenty of ways the state and federal governments waste money and line the pockets of supporters and fat-cat friends. Every time tax dollars are spent, there should be a public accounting.
I accept the fact that the government is going to drink my milkshake. I just don’t want them to waste it.
John Whitlock is the editor of the News-Herald.