Civil society is supported by ... taxes

April 15, 2010 

— Today is tax day, so get ready for the annual onslaught of government-bashing and wild exaggerations about the taxes we pay from folks holding protests on streets paid for by tax dollars while being protected by law enforcement officers funded by our tax payments.

If somebody has a heart attack, a taxpayer-funded EMT will respond. If a fire breaks out, people at the rally know the publicly funded fire department will rush to the scene.

Many seniors in the crowd will complain about the government that just paid for their latest visit to the doctor. Many speakers with degrees from state universities will rail against the taxes that paid for much of their college education.

Many of the people carrying signs blasting big bad government will have recently cashed their Social Security check or pension payment from the State of North Carolina.

Then the ralliers will head to lunch at a restaurant where their tax dollars made sure the food is safe and the electrical wiring is sound and won't cause a fire while they are complaining about the size of their government.

Some parents will leave lunch to pick up their children from the schools our tax money funds, where they learn from the teachers our tax dollars pay. Others will stop by the day care center that our taxes make sure is built to code and take their kids to the park that our tax dollars bought for all of us to enjoy.

All this while breathing the air that our tax dollars make sure is safe to breathe and standing on land our tax dollars make sure is not contaminated with chemicals that can harm us.

Then the ralliers will head home and turn on the lights powered by the area's nuclear plant that our tax dollars make sure is operated safely and make dinner using the water from the system our tax dollars fund before giving their kids a bath as the water disappears into the sewer system that the government operates.

Then the protesters will stuff their homemade signs into the trash and roll the can and the recycling to the curb so it can be picked up and hauled away by the government that the signs condemn.

Then it's back into the house that is also protected by the police and firefighters that our tax dollars pay and turn out the lights and sleep soundly knowing that no bombs or missiles will fall in the night because of the men and women in the armed forces that our taxes support.

Then the alarm clock will sound, bringing another day to complain about the government.

Chris Fitzsimon is director of N.C. Policy Watch. This piece appeared in its electronic newsletter.

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