April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Where Do Our Taxes Go?

Tax season is now upon us (you’re welcome), and if you’re like everyone else, as I assume you are, you’re sighing and wondering why you have to pay taxes.

No one likes doing taxes. This is a very busy time of the year, and no one wants to sit down and take a test that we didn’t even study for.

“Can I just copy off the guy next to me? Write down what he wrote?”

I think that’s called cheating on your taxes.

So I’m thinking that it might help to know exactly what your money is going to. And that way, you can say things like, “My taxes pay your salary.” People always appreciate when you point that out. Especially cops. Because that way they know.

Digression aside, if you look at the list of things that the government really does provide us, you’ll realize that without taxes, we wouldn’t have many of the conveniences of modern life, such as constant road work, getting in trouble for moving too quickly, being nervous when we’re leaving a store empty-handed even though we’ve done nothing wrong, non-Jewish kids’ education, and of course space travel, which you personally are not allowed to do but you are allowed to pay for.

Trash Pickup

This service is very convenient, because we personally have no idea where they take the trash.

“The dump,” you’re saying, all self-satisfied.

Oh yeah? Where exactly IS this “dump”? I don’t really pass it on the way to anywhere. I’m never in my car with the kids and say, “Hey, look everyone! The dump! Roll up your windows!” For a really long time, I pictured Staten Island, but I’ve been to Staten Island, and I haven’t passed it there either. Maybe it’s not right on the highway.

If we had to take care of our own garbage, then once or twice a week, we would load the cans into the car, roll down the windows, and figure out where on earth the dump was, and we’d probably have to wait in line once we got there, and we would all dump it wrong, and things would drip all over our cars. Most people would just let it pile up and then, before Pesach, they would stuff their car with garbage, floor-to-ceiling so they have no rear visibility, and pray they don’t have to make a short stop.

Let’s face it—if not for trash pickup, we’d be flushing foil pans down the toilet.

Libraries

Libraries are awesome. Without libraries, every time people wanted to read a book, they’d have to buy it, and nobody would read books.

Wait. That already happens. Does nobody know about libraries?

And my wife, for example, goes through a book per Shabbat, which could get pretty expensive, and the only way to slow her down is to have company, which is more expensive than buying her a book.

But thanks to the library, you can sit down at the table on a Shabbat afternoon with a piece of cake and a good book and think, “I wonder how many people read this in the bathroom?”

Snow Removal

Every time it snows, someone shows up to clean the streets, rain or shine, and we don’t even think about it. We just complain: “I’d just finished shoveling out, and he shoveled me back in!”

We don’t realize that if not for him, everyone would be responsible for half the width of the street in front of their homes, and driving after a snowstorm would be like walking down the sidewalk when only half your neighbors have shoveled.

Fire Fighters

Or basically any emergency service that has to let the whole town know every time they’re driving to work, so you know you’re getting your taxes’ worth. Though I suppose it’s better than calling various privatized companies when you have an emergency and trying to find out their rates.

And they even use cost-cutting measures to save the taxpayers’ money, such as installing fire poles in their stations, because all those guys running down the stairs at once was making the insurance go up like crazy.

They also show up at every community event and give out fire hats. What other organization does that? Bakers? Sailors? Astronauts?

Space Travel

What would we do without space travel? I literally do not know. Space travel has existed my entire life. What did our forefathers do?

Space travel is very important for the future, because we’re running out of places to put garbage. And you wouldn’t want to have to pay for this yourself, would you? Of course, it would probably be cheaper if every country in the world got together and paid for one space program, but that will never happen, as long as there’s also defensive spending.

And space travel costs a lot of money, because they have to pack things that they don’t normally pack. Normally, the only people who have to fly with tiny packets of self-heating food are Jews.

National Parks

But not any of the good parks, like amusement parks. Just parks that you can go to to look at niflaot haboreh.

Wait. If I’m looking at niflaot haboreh, why am I paying the government?

We’re paying them so they should keep the land the way it is and not develop it. It sounds like a protection racket.


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He has also published seven books and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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