As a progressive, freedom-loving independant, with a penchant for focusing on the flaws in our political system, who reads Howard Zinn and Harpers and appreciates a good political demonstration, I have found myself reminded daily of how much I love and appreciate this country. How I’m even considering slapping on a “love it or leave it” bumper sticker and maybe an American flag antenna cozy for good measure.
Who are these bozos who’ve hijacked patriotism and rebranded it to include everyone who despises, distrusts and resents our government (and the taxes we pay to make it possible)? How is it that they get to wrap themselves in the flag?
So here is this week’s installment of why I love paying taxes:
Public schools: What an absolutely remarkable system. My daughter comes home from school each day with a renewed enthusiasm for learning. I feel confident each morning sending her off, knowing that she will be surrounded by smart, loving adults who have chosen to devote their lives to children. I know that her teachers put together an amazing smorgasboard of subjects and ideas, that they are not just educators but social workers, advocates and friends. I know that if I forget to pack a lunch, she’ll be fed. I know that her classmates come from the same diverse populations that comprise our community, that none of her friends will be shut out because they are poor or have a learning disability or are a different gender, religion or color. I know that I can count on this system for the duration of her education and can continue to plan my own career and life on this certainty. I myself am a recipient of 13 years worth and so is every other person I know (90 percent nationwide). And while it’s not compulsary (private school and homeschool are options), it is a guarantee for every single child. Our country is diverse and conflicted and messy, but we all have kindergarten in common.
I pay for that and consider it money well spent.