Sunday, April 07, 2013

Tax Day Lament

Day after day this past week I have struggled against waves of remorse to sit before my computer and painstakingly compose Alice and my 2012 income tax return. My sole objective, as it is every year, is to arrive at all ways this side of outlaw to reduce our tax “contribution”. However, I realize that our efforts to minimize our contribution might seem selfish to many: “Where’s your spirit of sharing?”

Oddly though, before I plumb the depths of guilty feelings too deeply, I rationalize that it’s only me and trusty TurboTax against a well-paid IRS army; Democrats like John and Teresa Kerry, John Edwards, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are generous to a fault with public funds, sic armies of tax lawyers and accountants onto the IRS to make sure that they too contribute as little as possible. Then, if still burdened by feelings of selfishness, I take solace knowing we donate more to charity in a year than Joe and Jill Biden do in a decade.

At this point waves of smug, self-satisfaction wash over me, until I realize that I live in a community where generosity takes many forms, and is a way of life. Whereas the taxes we pay leave our community to be frittered away, in our communities the Lions, Rotarians, Soroptimists, Gualala Arts volunteers, school boosters, restaurateurs, and donations by generous businesses and individuals do what the bureaucrats won’t and can’t: find our real needs and fill them.

During the past several years it’s been my privilege to work with many other Lions and Rotarians to round up donations for our fundraiser raffles and auctions, so I am constantly made aware of the generosity of neighbors and business owners.

We render unto Cesar, but our hearts give voluntarily and happily to friends. 

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