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I think some taxes are good. I can already hear some of you saying “I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Yeah, it’s tax season and financial woes are piling up. I’m a numbers guy and I hate doing my taxes. Last year, I spent upwards of 10 hours on them! Hey. I have a business and my wife is in school. Those lend to particular difficulty in the tax preparation process.
Though none of us like taxes, I want to present four reasons taxes are actually a good thing. I talk about some of these in my book Graduated and Clueless.
1. Taxes contribute to our local safety
Taxes are what keep our local safety services funded and prepared for disaster. They are the reason you can have the fire department at your house within minutes of reporting a fire. Taxes give the police department the resources they need to protect us from illegal activity. I don’t think any of us would like to live in a world where we don’t have access to 911 and the services it provides.
There are some people who care so much about others’ safety that they’re willing to volunteer to help. A friend of mine in Texas is on a volunteer fire department and works there whenever he can. If firefighters care enough about my safety to put their lives on the line every day, I’m happy to have my taxes pay them for it!
2. Taxes keep our roads and bridges in working order
Taxes keep our roads in working order. They allow departments of transportation to fix the growing potholes after long winters (before they swallow Smart Cars whole). This makes travel easier on your car and lends it a bit of extra life.
And bridges need even more attention to keep us safe. Free fall in a car would give quite the adrenaline rush but that’s about it!
3. Taxes fund our government and our military
Aside from college and professional sports championships, people don’t generally riot in the streets, burning their Lazy Boys on every street corner. Our taxes fund the federal, state, and local governments which help maintain order through laws and regulations. Though it doesn’t work the way we always want it to, the government keeps the peace and protects its people from the dangers of anarchy.
And it funds the military who keep us internationally safe every day! Thank you to our servicemen and women!
4. Taxes help our schools and education
Last but certainly not least, taxes go towards education! Those who don’t have kids still benefit from local schools because those schools educate the kids that will live in our communities as adults. Sure, not all students will stick around. Some will move out and others will move in. But when schools have the resources they need to provide a solid education, it has tons of benefits! The stronger the schools are, the more families want their kids to attend those schools. It increases the appeal for companies to set up in the area which increases local economic prosperity.
Plainly speaking, stronger schools increase GDP which directly impacts the economy and wages. An article from US News and World Report points to some good research about this.
Tax season sucks
Quick Note: I am a conservative who believes in the strong characteristics of capitalism. Money doesn’t solve all problems. It’s just a tool to help.
Though some would like to, we cannot say with certainty that increasing taxes will make us safer and more well educated. We need strong leaders who will optimize the taxes that we pay with the services our governments provide. I am a big proponent of small government that uses our money efficiently. Having said that, I am happy to pay taxes for these four things as long as they are being used efficiently.
Tax season sucks, but it actually has its benefits the rest of the year.
What are other benefits of taxes in your opinion?
I want to hear from you!
Oh! And if you haven’t done your taxes yet, check out TurboTax. It’s a simple way to make your tax season easier if you have simple taxes to complete!