Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Party of "NO"

Today is April 15. Today is also my third favorite holiday, following the Fourth of July and Labor Day (I'm not much for conventional holidays). I remember being a little girl and going to the main post office downtown with my dad every April 15 just before midnight. The local television stations were all there, the radio stations were blaring rock music, and everyone was handing out free souvenirs. There was always food, stickers, and a guaranteed oversize t-shirt for a little girl to go home in.

Today is Tax Day.

Most people hate tax day, the day when their federal and state taxes are officially due to the US government, but I love it (probably because my taxes are meager at the moment and a good return is usually in the forecast). I recall standing on my tiptoes and using all my might to open the massive mailbox door to drop in my family's tax return.

Ah, those were the days...

Today, however, Tax Day is highly regarded by many as the day people pay the government to watch Democrats and Republicans butt heads and get nothing accomplished. Vanity Fair published a great article about how much money Americans are funneling into the government every year through taxes, and just how much of that money is being wasted on Republican spending.

There may be "no shame in being the party of no," according to Sarah Palin, but it sure is damned expensive, Vanity Fair says. In honor of Tax Day, the magazine set out to discover "Just how much money are taxpayers spending on the Republican Party's commitment to doing exactly nothing." The answer is evidently $1.32 billion, which includes $47.9 million for congressional salaries; $231.3 million for congressional aides; $163.1 million in health, retirement and other benefits; $533.1 million in paper clips, free postage, and other office expenses; $281.4 million in building maintenance; and $63.5 million in lost federal revenue due to tax-exempt donations to conservative think tanks. As for the latter, as Vanity Fair put it, "Sure, they've come up with some interesting ideas. When Republicans enact any of them, you can take this item off the list."

The GOP is essentially WASTING 1.32 BILLION dollars.

All I can do it sit here and think of the infinitely better ways this money could be spent.

(Sidebar: I was in CVS a few days ago and saw that Sarah Palin has her own magazine. It's expected to make money. Scary.)


Thomas Wachtel said...

Can I subscribe to that magazine? I'm really curious about whether she can save America.

Seriously though, I've loved taxes ever since I was a kid and I found out that they paid for NASA, which I thought was awesome. My mom did a really good job of raising me.

ShamRockNRoll said...

I had a disheartening conversation with a friend from back home in CA the other day. He's starting to make enough money to be in the "upper" tax bracket (which doesn't get taxed nearly as much as it should, or did, under republican presidents like Eisenhower/Nixon). Anyway... all he was doing was bitching about having to pay his taxes, and how he wanted a "flat tax". I felt so sick. He's actually doing well in life, far better than most of my other friends, and most people in the world, and all he can think about is "more more more". And he is pretty liberal on a lot of issues too, ugh, I was just disgusted.

I said something along the lines of, "Dude, we all have to pay taxes, that's how we have government services." His reply, "I don't want government services."

Sorry bud, but we live in a civilization. We don't each get our own island that you can be king of.

I had to stop talking because I was too busy writing a paper and didn't want to bang my head against the desk.