I took all my information into the tax people in the mall and I was looking forward to a tax refund. The idea that the government used my money and then gave some of it back always intrigued me. In the past I mulled over whether to take myself as a deduction or not and I thought of it as a savings account.
When the tax lady told me that I didn't have enough income to pay taxes it was like being in an earthquake. The world as I knew it shifted. I was now an older American who was in the poverty bracket and I felt useless. At the same time I appreciated that the government realized I had no money and they weren't taking away my home to get the last drop out of my turnip.
In this country we take care of elders, babies, the disabled and veterans. I like that. This morning on the View the conservative host, Elizabeth Hasselback, was saying that I would feel much better if I had been able to pay taxes. Here are two quotes from her this morning.
"I think there's a general feeling that, with more and more people becoming dependent on the government, that by next July we could perhaps be celebrating Dependence Day, not Independence Day," she said....
Hasselback added, "All I'm saying is I do believe there are two schools of thought. One is that it's a good thing to have more and more government, people depend ont government and the other is that we want to create people who are independent and free. Because are you free if you're dependent on your government? You're not really free."
Free? She seemed to want me to get a job at 65 or to have worked harder during my life. In her conservative view I have no self esteem or as Romney put it, I feel like a victim and took no responsibility for my own life and sustenance.
Instead I feel taken care of and I don't feel guilty that I didn't make more money in my life. I worked as hard as I could and helped lots of people in my low paying jobs. I appreciate not having to pay taxes. Thank you Uncle Sam for realizing that not everyone has a silver spoon in their mouth and that life can be a struggle.
Running the country like a business is cut throat. There is little room in profit schemes to help people. When being rich is the American dream you take away the dreams of the rest of us. I never wanted to be rich. I just wanted to help my little family and do some good in the world. Oh, I thought of starting a business but I didn't like the idea of spending seven days a week developing one. I didn't want to take the risk. I didn't think that was the best plan for my life.
This election is pointing up the difference between wanting to be a decent world with ethical actions or glorifying the mighty dollar. I hope we choose the path of peace and modest prosperity. A nice solid middle class that has other values on their mind than accumulating wealth. Taking responsibility for my life meant being kind. In Mitt Romney's world that isn't enough. I needed to have a job that paid the big bucks in order to be considered responsible.
He claims that he will create new jobs for us all. I imagine they will mostly be low paying jobs that will result in more people who don't have enough at the end of their lives to pay taxes. I like Obama's plan better. Increase educational opportunities and develop a safe infrastructure so that we can all live compassionately. If you want to be super rich then you will pay more taxes. If you find yourself at the end needing a little help then all the taxes that you did pay in your life will provide the minimum and avoid devastation.
I have a fine lifestyle. I live simply and help my mom and kids. Never having made over fourteen dollars an hour at any job does not seem like a bad thing to me. Taking time out to raise my kids was worth it. I am not embarassed that I did not pay taxes this last year, I am grateful.