Death and, well, you know the rest

Yes, taxes. No right-minded American likes them, right? Well…

First up, this history of the income tax from Planet Money explains that Americans are relatively all right with paying their taxes. At least, we’re not a place like Greece where almost everyone dodges their taxes.

But (linked from that post) you must watch this Disney propoganda film commissioned by the Treasury Department from 1943 when almost everyone had to start paying income taxes. It has Donald Duck learning that it’s his patriotic duty (“Taxes to beat the Axis!”) to fill out the new simplified tax form (“Dependents: Huey, Dewie, and Louie”). It’s amazing.

Next up, an essay from Mike Dang at The Billfold about how he likes paying his taxes:

This is the social contract, isn’t it? We’ve all agreed to not kill each other, and to protect one another from harm. I love this country that we live, and I want all of us to prosper. I think that these are goals that we all share, and I am happy to pay my fair share help us get to a place where everyone in my community is safe and cared for.

And, more forcefully, Stephen King would like you to raise his fucking taxes:

Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-fucking-American is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.

Preach!

/raises lighter

/no one else raises their lighter

I guess we don’t do that for tax policy?

Am I doing it wrong?

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