Monday, February 04, 2008

Taxes: Just My Opinion

I just received this email from my parents:

Father Daughter Talk

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, how is your friend Audrey doing?

She replied, Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.

Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA, and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That's a crazy idea. How would that be fair? I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled, winked, and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Perhaps it is needless to say, I tend toward the Democrat side and my parents the Republican. Also probably needless to say, they have considerably more money than I have.

The truth is, I am not a staunch Democrat. After studying government in college, I am far too politically cynical to feel either side is the best answer. But apparently I am Democrat enough to put a bee in my parents’ proverbial bonnet. (Actually, over the years they have made several comments, indicating that it is quite an issue for them. One friend pointed out, with humor, that they were okay with me living with my boyfriend for two years before I married him, leaving my religion of birth, and my brother coming out after 10 years of marriage, but my being a Democrat [and a “light” one at that] is too much for them to bear!)

It all comes to money to them, it seems anyway. As this story shows, they seem to think that I will change my mind when I have more money to lose in the game. Now, admittedly, they may very well be right, I just desperately hope they are not. I may not have had a lot of money to pay in taxes over the years to experience that side of the angst, but there have been times when the taxes I paid made meeting rent/mortgage difficult for me. And even in those months I was grateful to pay taxes. I am self-employed so I pay more taxes than those employed by others. I am also often paid in cash and I always report every penny. I am so incredibly grateful to live in this country. I know this may sound silly, but it is absolutely true. I am grateful to be free, to live where my children can roam the streets without being shot at, where education is free, women have rights, we have religious freedom, we have roads that are taken care of, good medical care, to not have to serve in the armed forces, and to have people who are willing to serve for me to protect my said rights. My list goes on. I have always been willing to pay for my part to be here. I like to think that that gratitude will continue when I am able to pay more and I will be grateful I can pay more so that others who will struggle to pay their taxes and meet their mortgage won’t have to pay as much.

1 comment:

Marya said...

Since I know you are a Wayne Dyer fan I'm sure you've probably read this before but I just read it last night:
"Oneness with our source is acheived by becoming like It, and Its essence is giving and sharing. Therefore, in order to know our purpose and heed our ultimate call to inspiration, we must also become a being who's more focused on sharing than on receiving."
Sharing the peace,