Income tax time is over today for most of us. Did you begrudge paying your income tax? Many of us do.
This year, the day I was paying my taxes, I read the story of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural presidential speech. The quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” jarred my dissatisfaction. Kennedy’s words reminded me to let go of my complaining. Like many others, I can point out the places that I know or suspect our government is wasting our tax dollars. I, too, listen to the news as they cover the trial of Senator Duffy. It’s easy to see the mistakes, and what looks like dishonesty.
Still, as I think about Kennedy’s words, I am drawn to consider why we pay income tax. Almost every day I hop into my car and drive either downtown, or to Toronto, Lindsay or… Somehow those highways have to be paid for. I turn on a tap, and there is clean water. I am able to pay my bills today because of the education I received as a youngster. If I’m sick or injured, I can go to the hospital without worrying about cost. I listen to the CBC. I love camping in provincial and national parks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Most important is the fact that our tax dollars help to spread the wealth of this nation a little more evenly among our people. And there is so much more.
Of course, we have complaints. Still, I wouldn’t live in any other country. I want the infrastructure, the luxuries that are here. Yes, I am willing to pay my taxes even when it pinches. I want the security of employment insurance and Canada and Old Age Pensions. I’m willing to pay for the social and health security of all Canadian citizens. By myself, I could do little, but together with the rest of Canadians, I can do so much and I am grateful.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)