Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tax- Patriotic?

Tom Freidman had a column in the NY Times challenging Sarah Palin's statement that taxes were unpatriotic.

My grandfather told me it was a privilege to pay taxes. I had made a negative remark reflecting some of the comments made by conservative school mates.

Grandfather B jumped all over me saying that in America tax was fair. In Russia taxes were onerous and skewed to weigh more heavily on minorities particularly Jews.

Taxes were collected by "tax farmers", brokers who collected on a commission basis.

Many of the tax brokers were Jewish as this was one of the few government jobs they could hold.
It was an s*** detail at best and certainly did not endear them to an already hostile population.

As told to me by my dad the routine went like this, when word spread that the tax broker was in the area anything in the house of value was hidden.

When the knock on the door came, the housewife would answer wearing her meanest outfit crying out about what a terrible year it had been.

The tax broker would check his records and announce an amount.

The housewife then would empty her purse offering the guy the "few kopecks she had".

In most homes the centerpiece was an elaborate samovar possibly handed down from generation to generation.

The tax collector would look at the miserable offering and walk over to the samovar saying that since there was no cash available he was sure he could sell it for enough to make up the difference.

Then the negotiations would begin earnest and money would appear from a convenient hiding place.

In conclusion, not too ago after repeated requests to the city to pave the street abutting our leaseback with telephone company, I discussed permission to investigate paving it myself.

It would have to be done to current state standards for all thoroughfares although it would be used only by phone company employees and the setup cost alone for doing a block would be the same as doing a complex of city streets - many thousands of dollars.

I will wait until the city accumulates enough "unpatriotic" tax money to do the whole street