Letter: Taxes help pay for much-needed services

From: John Kinnaman


There is a profane, four-letter word we seldom use, but there’s a five-letter word used more frequently and with greater profanity: taxes.

Hate ’em! Way too high! What do we get for ’em anyway? Too many taxes and not enough freedoms! Why can’t they hold ’em down?

I wondered, “Well, what do we get for our taxes?” Amazing. I did an online search. I hit “My Yahoo,” then “U.S. Government Services, Index of U.S.Government Agencies” and wow! In alphabetical order, 644 agencies, from Administration for Native Americans, Administration Office of the U.S. Courts and African Development Foundation, to Weather Service, Weights and Measures and West Point — including the CIA, FBI, the Defense Department and Indiana agencies. In there somewhere is a subsidy for the NFL, I’m told.

Each, as I read through them, made good sense to me as a valid, appropriate activity for my government — hopefully staffed with competent people, helpful and paid an appropriate wage to represent us. And this is just federal. Police, fire protection, schools, libraries, roads are elsewhere.

Whoever invented taxes had a clever idea called “sharing the cost.” Sharing, it feels better than taxes. Sharing based on what you own or make. Big deal? I shouldn’t think so. And a bit of gratitude toward the people in our government might smooth it out some, too.

Thanks for reading this far.