© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Your Tax Dollar At Work

My friend was bemoaning the cost of his ride in an ambulance from one hospital to another. He wanted his sister to drive him.

“Can you believe it?” he asked after sharing the price of lights and sirens.  “I could have had my sister take me for nothing.” 

Yes, that’s true. Of course, what he paid for was trained paramedics (3), medication, life-safety equipment, the professional driver trained to get you to your destination without an untimely accident, and more. Need I go on?

This was his tax dollar at work, for him. 

Taxes. Every election some candidate labels themselves a “Tax Fighter.” They promise “If you vote for me, I will fight to lower taxes.” For years I watched tax fighters win elections, and never -- and I mean never -- have my taxes gone down. Those campaign slogans are empty.

I am OK with paying taxes -- taxes that cover schools, fire and police, roads, sewer treatment plants, human services, snow plowing, national parks, EPA, all the stuff that saves us and our world. 

In a pay-to-play consumer-driven culture it’s amazing we can do these things. 

Is there waste? of course. Yet, what people call government is really services to society that are funded by all of us, and we all use government services in some form. Our government is funded by everyone, because everyone benefits. (Well, almost everyone. That’s another Perspective for another day.)

I have to sign off now and go vote, so I leave you with these words from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society,” and I for one am grateful I can pay.

I’m Lou Ness, and that’s my perspective.

Related Stories