Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I'm Feeling Generous
I have to admit that I've been feeling rather good about myself this week. Like most people, some part of my attention has been drawn to the 15th and tax day, and none of it had to do with the fact that I filed my paperwork months ago and even received a small refund. (Imagine, getting some of MY MONEY back from the government.) Instead, the reason that I've been feeling rather proud of myself is because of realizing what a generous guy I've become.
Now this may be a little hard for many to believe. After all, I'm a greedy Conservative, and therefore have no heart. (They're right about having no heart of course, but being Conservative probably has little to do with it.) While filling out my taxes however, I reviewed a number of slips of paper that listed donations that I had made to various charitable organizations over the last year. None of them individually might be worthy notice in the local media, and I was not asked to pose with an oversize copy of one of my checks for eventual media publication; but percentage-wise collectively, I think I did better than the nation's leader and his foot-in-mouth 2nd in command in my good works.
Just as I was beginning to feel a bit smug about my munificence however, I realized that all of us paying taxes this year have every right to be proud of our generosity, regardless of the number of tax-deductible receipts that we're holding. You see, these days we're all making charitable donations on a fairly grand scale whether we know it or not, at least according to this chart from the Heritage Foundation.
See! We're all paying a sizable portion of our tax dollars to pay for other people's medical bills (after paying an ever-increasing amount for our own health insurance). We're paying for a "retirement insurance" program (a Government-run Ponzi Scheme) that's likely to be broke before we're able to collect anything from it. Part of the 19% in income security includes food and housing assistance for those less fortunate, as well as that we justifiably owe in recompense for those who have more than honorably served in our Armed Forces. As for the net interest listed in the chart, apparently we're all donating to nations like the Chinese, in a capitalist transaction with a Communist country to finance the sad fact that the US continues to spend more than the money than it takes in from the tax revenues we 'donate' to it each year. It's was also great to find out that we're all so generous that we're willing to be rather charitable where other people's transportation or their kid's education is concerned (beyond what those of us who have to pay in local property taxes).
And while it really isn't broken out in the 7% that's listed on the chart, we're generous in ways that we don't even know (and couldn't comprehend the lunacy of if we did). We are after all, paying oil companies to drill for oil that our government says is bad for the environment, and grain-based ethanol as a sustainable replacement that's even worse. Speaking of grain, we're donating money to farmers not to grow crops in places that they could and other farmers for poor returns on those that they did plant at times or in places that they shouldn't.
We're generous with green energy companies that go broke as soon as they run out of our charitable contributions, on maintaining government buildings that the government no longer uses, and on such needy causes as training Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly (which falls under the category of foreign aid affecting US interests, I'm sure). Let's face it. The truth of the matter is that we're spending billions in charitable contributions to bad governments with worse leaders all around the world who really don't like us; in the misguided notion that 'buying friends' is a workable plan. (Proving that while the US doesn't negotiate with terrorists, they're perfectly willing to fund those considered only part-time terrorists and full-time political leaders; who then work with or subsidize other full-time terrorists.)
You know, maybe too much generosity isn't such a good thing after all. Maybe you and I are in fact donating far too much, and against our own best interests. Maybe ....
Oh wait, we're talking about taxes after all. Taxes are extracted at the point of a gun (or the threat of a federal prison sentence), and their redistribution of our obligatory contributions fall under the same guidelines as most government operation. Mostly begun with the best of intentions, they have morphed into a bureaucratic monstrosity whose only saving grace is the inefficiency of they're misguided efforts. I suppose that as such, they cannot therefore really be considered generosity after all. I feel better again ... sort of.
Donate Responsibly ....