Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death and Taxes

Oh, goody, goody goody!  The wonderful event I have been waiting for is on the way!  Let's all hear it out there for the great, fascinating, joy-filled, consciousness-raising, edifying time called. . .(wait for it!). . .MID-TERM ELECTIONS!!!!!  Ah, yes - you can smell it in the air - all that expensive and expansive crap pouring out of the mouths - the very pores - of all those delusional candidates.  Quite frankly, at times like these I can say, along with Lt. Col. Kilgore: * 

Actually, about the only good use that napalm could ever be put to would be a complete burn of all the misinformation, misdirection, malfeasance, manipulation, and malevolent manifestations that make up the once-noble calling of politics.  I could really get started now on a rant that would likely seem, if not actually be, never-ending.  I won't (so sorry to disappoint) - but it's only because my one handed typing can't keep up with the erupting, (perhaps) infammatory diatribe that is flying through my brain.

Here is the issue that has been occupying so much of my thought these last few days and weeks. . .when did the whole concept of  (*gasp*) TAXES become synonymous with evil?  Exactly how does the (apparently) large and vociferous (agonizingly so) group of American citizens expect our nation to operate without them?

Now, I am not so ignorant that I believe that there is really a significant number of people out there who feel that there should be NO taxes at all in this country.  But to actually listen to some of the "antis" speaking now, one could be led to think that taxes really are the root of all evil, and a nefarious plot cooked up by the Democratic Party to part all good, hard-working, and God-fearing citizens from as much of their income as possible.  All of us, regardless of our political, social, spiritual, and/or ethnic persuasions, have a right to voice our approval (seldom heard), or disapproval (abundantly heard)!  But, I feel that this huge issue regarding taxes has become so mired in the seamy, underhanded side of politics, that the essential need of our communal dollars to fund the physical infrastructure, and other necessary aspects, of our country has been completely drowned in an ocean of tea and hogwash.

The knee-jerk response whenever the word "taxes" is heard is "No, no, no!  No more taxes!"  Of course, I understand that what many are objecting to is the misuse and poor management of monies that are already being collected.  The problem comes when the "baby" of needed funds gets tossed out with the "bathwater" of assumed malfeasance!  Mismanagement is very expensive, no doubt about it. But even more costly to us as a nation is slashing or eliminating aspects of our corporate lives that enrich and nourish us and keep us moving ahead all because we don't want to shell out one more dime of our personal incomes.  (Did you ever wonder why it is that the ones most able to afford it are the ones who complain and are heard the most?)

We are a democratic society.  That wonderful moniker is largely a blessing, but sometimes can be a curse in that we must come up with a consensus on how to operate.  When everyone is allowed to speak, there are few left to listen.  And, unfortunately, the ones who get heard are the loudest and most obnoxious.  It seems to me that those obnoxious voices too often drown out the still, small voices of sanity and reason.  Health care for all costs money.  Good, sound, well-rounded education costs money (and considering the shameful level of teacher salaries these days, it doesn't cost anywhere near enough!). The better our education, and the better and more available good health care for all, the more able we are to progress and grow as a nation.  Short-changing our public schools, giving in to the self-interests of big business (and letting them decide for us what is best), and holding up as an ideal the possibility of "shutting down the government" in order to get what "we" want (and the devil take the hindmost) is to me the highest form of me-first, uncompromising folly.

Many of you, I gather from what I hear on the news, are going to differ with me.  OK.  That is one of the perks of being an American. (Yay!  You get to disagree with Paula!)  I have these requests of you all, in particular:  just because you may like what a candidate has to say, or agree with what s/he may stand for - listen to ALL sides of an issue.  Make up your own mind (most of you have good ones in there!).  More important:  NEVER RELY ON ONLY A SINGLE SOURCE FOR YOUR INFORMATION!!! Read widely, listen with both ears.  As wonderful as the internet is, it is also a huge problem.  It has become a rather unwieldy, bottomless depository, not only for information but misinformation in equal amounts.  The misinformation is not only endless, it is forever.  There is (as I've said before) no "truth filter" available that automatically separates fact from fiction on the web, and once there, it will always be there, ready to be cited and quoted by anyone who chooses to.  Consequently there is a virtually continuous stream of junk being spewed from the airwaves and in cyberspace that, for those who refuse to take the time to discern the truth, is causing many citizens of our nation to be led, far too easily, very far astray.

OK, I'm tired. . .my hand is giving out, but my brain is still furiously churning on.  In order to preempt some of your objections, I will say that I, too, will listen to my own advice, and listen to ALL sides - as hard as that may seem.  As we await the outcome of election day 2010, let us pray that saner heads all around will prevail, and that pointless rhetoric will not.  Liberals, conservatives, middle-of-the-roaders; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, all political persuasions; Christians, Jews, Muslims, all faiths; all races; all socio-economic brackets -- WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER!  We need to stop, breathe, then listen to, and respond to one another with respect and love.  There is no substitute for patience and tolerance (did you know that in Chinese, the character is the same for both words?) in a democratic society.

So. . .Death and Taxes.  Both inevitable, but when their times both come around, (and they will), how will you approach them? 

Finally, with a quick reminder to you all to VOTE in November. 
* Will it smell like Victory then?

I hope that each of your lives, Gentle Readers, may overflow with enough. . .


  1. Ah - someone else who doesn't like the kind of people (mostly) who get into politics. Great to find you,

    The VERY wealthy seem to think they have fewer not greater obligations to the rest of humanity (again with some exceptions).

    I sometimes have to agree with them, too much help and people start forgetting their own responsibility to look after themselves. The truly needy then get lumped in with the lasy layabouts and really do suffer when there are cutbacks.

  2. Exceptions to all statements abound, you are right! For instance, I'm sure I could find a member of the so-called "Tea Party" around with whom I could hold a civil conversation. I mean, perhaps that person had been innocently led astray and needed my guidance to lead them home again! :-D I wish I knew a method for ferreting out the abusers of the system from the needers of the system! Until I do, I still feel it's better to pay for the louts as well, rather than run the risk of leaving any of the truly deserving out! Around my home, we used to refer to that philosophy as being a "Fool for Christ" I mean, if you are going to be foolish, don't be foolish for just ANYBODY! Be foolish for the best! :-D

    Thanks again for the great comments!

  3. Your post is excellent. Thank you for taking the time to write it and share it with us.

  4. Your post is so passionate! The irony in the whole thing is that taxes become viewed as a socialist endeavor - much like public education. As a whole we have to find a way to reconcile the whole thing. We have rights but those rights don't take away our responsibilities.

  5. I believe you are right. The word "socialist" is bandied about these days and so few of the people using it really know what it means. A few have managed to bamboozle a lot of people by telling THEM what they should care about, instead of all of us sitting down together and discovering what the real needs are and then finding ways to fill them!

  6. Thank you so much for your lovely, level-headed views on these things. I really appreciate them, and I totally agree to never get all your news from one source! Everything gets so skewed that way! And I'm saying this on election day as the skewing has hit a fever pitch. I'm very glad that it'll all be over soon. :-)