Tuesday, April 15, 2008


"This is the day the IRS has made, let us rejoice and be glad on it." As a paraphrase of a Psalm which urges rejoicing on everyday since time was created by God, I believe that April 15-the deadline on paying taxes-can likewise be seen as a time on which to be grateful.(I don't have in mind CPA's or the industry that profits from the taxation system.)
This sounds, at first glance, to be utterly ridiculous, if not insensitive and spiteful. After all, we work hard for our money-why give it away to the government, an impersonal and bloated bureaucracy? Furthermore, the inequities that abound in the system are so egregious that it only leads to outcries of protest and righteous indignation! When a billionaire like Warren Buffet announces that he pays less in taxes than his secretary, how can we not be outraged?
So,what audacity , insanity or insensitivity prompts this urging that we consider the handing over of taxes a source of gratitude, and not a grievance of dogged griping?
The NY times today gave one very cogent answer. With all the imperfections of our system, nonetheless, taxation today is "Not a throwback to the time when kings picked our pockets..."paying our dues" allows for schools and transit systems and 10,000 other services that exist only because we pay our taxes...it is language by which we stand together as Americans."
Perhaps the most powerful reason for gratefulness today, Tax Day for Americans, has to do with our gratitude for having employment that requires a response of taxation. Without work, there are no taxes. Today especially, as our economy falters, growing numbers of Americans will be unable to pay taxes next year.Those who will, can consider today as a day on which to rejoice and be glad for the blessing of a job.

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