I can’t believe I’m paying tax for this

Have you ever looked at your pay stub and got depressed? Am I the only one who sees my payroll deductions and feels like I’m not getting it? worth my money for the government services provided?

Do not get me wrong. I’m not saying we can’t pay taxes† I would like to think that every good citizen would like to contribute to a healthy functional society. I just feel like I’m not getting value for money. Especially when I know the ridiculously rich, the real welfare queens, do not contribute 33% of their income in the years when they don’t even pay income tax at all. When I look at my depleted stubs, analyze the deductions, and see the work my city, state, and federal governments are doing with those funds, I can’t help but think the juice isn’t worth squeezing.

Let’s talk about the basics – roads and bridges† I have traveled to countries where some roads are incomplete – as in, you drive on the highway and then the highway just stops – so I appreciate the infrastructure we have to do have in America. However, I live in Baltimore City, where the streets crumble like a moist cookie. Don’t even think about having a cup of coffee on your way to work, because the truck-sized potholes will leave multiple stains on your shirt. Sometimes I feel like I need to buy my daughter a helmet because the uneven grooves make her bounce up and down. (Thank God we jumped for the expensive car seat.) One of the main roads to my house literally looks and feels like some kind of sick virtual reality video game. I have to bob and swing between orange traffic cones and city workers and dump trucks and excavators before slowing down to drive over the chunks of earth that have been stripped and try not to collide with the construction that has been going on for over three years. And the only thing that’s broken longer than that road to my house is the funding of our public school system.

I’ve had this feeling about the system and the return on our investments for a while, but the recent Supreme Court decisions made everything more urgent.

I have spoken very vocally about my love for public schools and teachers in public schools. Many of them are beyond excellent. They work extremely hard and have made tremendous strides in improving the lives of our children. But those same excellent, hardworking teachers may still never reach their full potential because school funding depends in part on local property taxes, meaning those in poor neighborhoods who need it most have almost no chance of competing with schools in wealthier neighborhoods full of them. resources.

And in some of those underfunded, overburdened schools, it may be easier for some poor administrators and teachers to slip through the cracks than in institutions with less overall strain on their systems. I once dreamed of sending my daughter to a public school so that she can have an experience like mine and be socialized in different realities. But my experiences have also forced me to consider private schools. I’m starting to feel like this is yet another institution that I pay for but will never be able to use, like the police.

I have a history of joking with cops when they confront me, “Offer me top service, cop, I’ll pay your salary!” But I never call the police myself, unless I have to report it to the police because it is necessary for insurance reimbursement. Never further. First, they are often bad at their job. And two, they could shoot me.

One time I called the police after someone cut all four of my tires. I was a broke student at the time, no drama in my life that would have provoked an act of hateful vandalism. Frankly, I think the slasher was aimed at the wrong car. But when I called the police to have one come and fill out a report, the prankster got mad at… me

“I’m not sure these tires were flat, buddy,” the short, non-foreheaded officer said, circling the car in his little work boots, scratching the brim of his hat over his head. ‘These seem pretty standard flats to me.’

‘Do you think I have four flats at once? Are u kidding me?’

“Listen, buddy, my dad has a garage in Detroit,” he said. “So I like to think I know a thing or two about tires.”

‘Detroit, what? Just write the report.’ I laughed to quell my anger, to avoid an argument that might turn ugly, and to get the paperwork I needed to file my insurance claim.

The agent reluctantly wrote the report.

When will these broken systems be held accountable as the rest of us already are?

If someone puts a gun to my head and robs me of my belongings, I won’t call the police, even if my taxes help pay for their services. I don’t expect the police to comfort me, listen to me, or solve the crime. And even if they probably solved the crime, I don’t think the prison would solve the problems that caused the person to rob me in the first place. And that’s another thing we have to pay for.

I’ve had this feeling about the system and the return on our investments for a while, but the recent Supreme Court decisions made everything more urgent.

Last week, the court overturned Roe v. Wade, declaring that a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, a precedent that has existed for nearly half a century, no longer exists. This happened after the judges responsible for the change denied in their hearings any intention to overturn the landmark decision. Donald Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, along with Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, also just curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to mitigate climate change by setting limits on the way they regulate power plants. And we paid their salary while they did it.

Our hard-earned money is rewarded for their homes, the island vacations they take their families to, the cars they drive, the meals they eat. Associate judges earn $274,200 per year; the chief justice brings in $286,700. Which may not be a lot of money in the grand scheme of the federal budget, but let’s not forget the estimated average salary of the US worker last year was $58,260. And which of them has a job guaranteed for life?

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling right now that the judicial branch of government could be one of the biggest mistakes of the nation’s founders filed below, allowing slavery to exist in this new land they fought against. Perhaps they thought those lifelong appointments would always be held by dismal experts in jurisprudence who would put the good of the nation first, not a collection of ideologically inebriated, politically motivated clowns. How can checks and & balances exist when the majority appears to serve the interests of one political party on the court’s purpose? And we get the bill!

Again, I will proudly pay my share of taxes because I believe in responsibility and do my part. But when will these broken systems be held accountable as the rest of us already are?

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