Happy Taxpayer Pride Day! Yes – you read that right, and no – I haven’t lost my mind.
For many, April 15 brings feelings of doom and gloom. It’s the day you might have to hand over some of your hard earned money to Uncle Sam (and if you’ve waited until the last minute, it’s the day you’ll have to stand in a long line at the Post Office with your fellow procrastinators). But we, inspired by our brilliant friends at NETWORK, will be celebrating April 15 as a day of joy and gratitude.
When you think about it, the world around you is fueled by tax revenue. Without taxes, we’d be less safe, less educated, and all around less content. Safety first: our tax dollars support police officers, fire fighters, the uniformed military, traffic lights, stop signs, street lamps, crossing guards, guardrails, airport security. I could keep going but I think you get the picture. Taxes support our elementary, middle, and high schools, state colleges and universities, cutting edge research that can both change and save lives, health care for the over-65 crowd (that’ll be you someday!) and the poor.
Ever take a hike through a breathtaking national park? Thankful that your mail is delivered to your house each day? Glad you know that there is unemployment insurance there for you in the unfortunate event of losing a job? Like being able to check out library books? You can thank tax dollars for all of the above.
Today we’re participating #TaxpayerPride day on social media, and we invite you to contribute! What’s your favorite taxpayer-funded service? Safe meat thanks to the USDA? Treasures housed in the Smithsonian museums? Metro service to and from work? The possibilities are endless! Check out the instructions from NETWORK about how you can get involved.
Need more incentive? Tax revenues enable the government to provide essential services to women and their families. Vital services like child care, SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), low-income housing and energy assistance, and more. But instead of being funded at levels sufficient to support vulnerable populations, many of these programs are being cut. (Remember the sequester? It’s not pretty.)
To invest in public services, the government needs more money, not less [PDF]. I know just the place to find it – the super wealthy and huge corporations. Corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks for the rich leave the rest of us struggling.
This Tax Day let’s proudly pay our taxes and remember that there is much work to be done to raise critical revenue and make our tax system fairer.