A Taxing Ques­tion: ‘Where’d This Dol­lar Come From?’

McDonald County Press - - CHURCH - Good Think­ing DON KUEHLE IS A RE­TIRED UNITED METHODIST MIN­IS­TER WHO LIVES IN JACK­SON. OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

I think I’m in big trou­ble! I was go­ing through the pock­ets of my old jacket when I found some­thing I couldn’t ex­plain. There was this crum­pled-up dol­lar bill. A dol­lar! My wal­let is bare; my bank ac­count is nearly empty. So how come I have this dol­lar left?

I’ve paid my taxes to the IRS and to the state. I’ve paid my assess­ment tax, sales tax, hos­pi­tal tax and gaso­line tax. I’ve paid a liquor tax, a cig­a­rette tax and a tax to build a bridge at the other end of the county. So, where did this dol­lar come from?

When I pay my lawyer $600, I pay a tax on that. I pay tax on the money I give to the babysit­ter, to the real es­tate man, and to the per­son who fills out my in­come tax form ev­ery year. So, how come I still have this dol­lar?

Ob­vi­ously, I’ve made a mis­take some­where and have over­looked some tax.

Yet, I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber pay­ing the road tax, the ex­cise tax, the de­fense tax and the tax to pro­vide more schol­ar­ships for the kids to go to the univer­sity so they can tell me how rot­ten the sys­tem is. And yes, I’ve paid my taxes for new sew­ers, for more bombs to keep our coun­try safe, for wheat for In­dia, for an­other hockey rink and for pub­lic trans­porta­tion. So, where did this dol­lar come from?

Also, I’ve paid my water tax; and when they charge us an air tax to clean up pol­lu­tion, I’ll pay that too. I’ve paid taxes for more parks, fire pro­tec­tion and law en­force­ment. I’ve paid taxes to help the for­lorn farmer, and to aid mi­nori­ties, un­wed moth­ers and ab­sen­tee fa­thers. I pay taxes on the tooth­paste I use ev­ery morn­ing; and I pay taxes on the pil­low I rest my head on when the day is done. So, how come I have this dol­lar left?

I wouldn’t think of go­ing fish­ing, own­ing a dog, or get­ting mar­ried with­out first pay­ing a tax. I paid taxes on my car when I bought it, on the li­cense that en­ti­tles me to drive it, and on the fuel I need to run it. I’ve paid a lot of taxes! I ad­mit that I haven’t paid my death tax yet but, even­tu­ally, I’ll do that, too. So, where did this dol­lar come from?

I have no idea why I have this dol­lar left in my pocket. Where did it come from? Did some­one put it in my pocket to get me in trou­ble? Is there a tax on find­ing a dol­lar like this? I’m not sure. What I do know is that the gov­ern­ment is go­ing to be mighty an­gry at me when they find out I’ve got this dol­lar!

When I pay my lawyer $600, I pay a tax on that. I pay tax on the money I give to the babysit­ter, to the real es­tate man, and to the per­son who fills out my in­come tax form ev­ery year. So, how come I still have this dol­lar? Ob­vi­ously, I’ve made a mis­take some­where and have over­looked some tax. Yet, I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber pay­ing the road tax, the ex­cise tax, the de­fense tax and the tax to pro­vide more schol­ar­ships for the kids to go to the univer­sity so they can tell me how rot­ten the sys­tem is. And yes, I’ve paid my taxes for new sew­ers, for more bombs to keep our coun­try safe, for wheat for In­dia, for an­other hockey rink and for pub­lic trans­porta­tion. So, where did this dol­lar come from?

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