It is the dreaded today. Today is the last day to pay 2010 Federal Income Taxes on time. To commemorate the occasion I thought we could examine an alternative view of taxes from Douglas J. Amy, Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College. He has a website, Government is Good: An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution on which he chronicles The Forgotten Achievements of Government including:
- Public Health Programs which have eliminated polio, cholera, and smallpox from our society and have significantly reduced our risks of contracting hepatitis B, measles, mumps, tetanus, rubella, and diphtheria.
- Interstate Highways which George Will called "the most successful public works program in the history of the world".
- Anti-Discrimination Programs which have made substantial progress in eliminating racist and sexist practices that had existed for centuries.
- Clean Water and Clean Air Programs which has made the water we drink and air we breathe safe and dependable.
- The Military: Our Army, Navy, and Air Forces are the most effective military organizations in the world.
- National Weather Service serves us in many ways from warning us of dangerous conditions to ensuring the safety of planes and ships.
- Student Financial Aid Programs which gives every willing and qualified student an opportunity to receive an education regardless of their resources or background.
- Food and Drug Safety Programs which protect us from consuming products which threaten our health.
- Funding Scientific Research which would be unprofitable to pursue commercially.
Admittedly, I do not agree with every program Professor Amy considers a success of our government. But especially today I encourage everyone to consider that regardless of our political views, we can agree on our love for our country and take pride in the support we offer our government through taxes.