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Ostomy Memories of Taxes


WANT TO RUIN AN OTHERWISE PROMISING DAY?  Think about all the myriad ways the government wastes your tax money.  If I dwelled too long on it, I could go apoplectic.  Misspent billions, ill-conceived actions and programs, selfish and thoughtless legislators who promote absurd or purely political nonsense, all with the tax contributions we provide via mandatory donations to the running of the government.  So, my way of dealing with this travesty is to bury my head in the sand and ignore it.  I don’t even do my own taxes.  My spouse possesses both the expertise and the patience to deal with the IRS business.  I don’t even want to think about it.  Failed government programs?  Forget about it.  Ludicrous national debt?  Who cares!  Inflation consuming my income?  It’s all unavoidable.  I’m sorry, Suzy, we can’t afford to get you a bicycle.  “The best way to teach your kids about taxes,” mused Bill Murray, “is by eating 30% of their ice cream.”  As for me, I’m too damn honest to be a tax cheat.  I guess that means I could never be president.  

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Hello HenryM.

Thank you for this perspective on taxation, as I am sure you are right about many of the things that our governmental administrators waste our money on. You are probably also right when you assert that contemplating these things can ruin an otherwise promising day. 
However, there can be an alternative perspective which might make consideration of such matters a little more positive:
If, instead of focussing upon how ‘they’ waste our money, we pay attention to the myriad of ways in which some of the money is spent to benefit ‘everyone’(not just the rich and powerful) then, I would guess, the days ahead might look and feel a bit more promising.

Here in the UK, we value our National Health Service because, whilst we have paid for it in taxes ( ‘They’ label that as National Insurance contributions so that It doesn’t get counted as a tax but it is what has become known as a ‘stealth-tax’) Then there are the police and defence forces: We take these for granted, but if ‘someone’ wasn’t paying for them, life would probably be even more chaotic and dangerous than it is at present: We have a ‘free’ general educational system, whereas the previous system openly made sure only the privileged few had that advantage: 
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. This alternative perspective is, of course, just another way of burying one’s head in the sand with regard to the perspective that you postulated. However, it does seem to be a valid way of getting through each day without becoming overly depressed about the way things are really run.

Having recently published my book on ‘kindness’ I realise that this is something that cannot be ‘taxed’ or paid for in the monetary sense. It is a phenomenon that is, ‘thankfully’, largely free from governmental control. 
Those who seek to have power and influence via governmental management, are also likely to want to take control of financial matters in order to perpetuate their own wellbeing.

I have written far more rhymes about the negative perspectives than I have on the positives, because by describing what I see in the written form can help me move on, with the knowledge that I have at least documented my thoughts and feelings, which may not accord with the governmental propaganda.

I leave you with just one or many rhymes which have helped me cope over the years.   

Best wishes



Where you look is what you see
makes so much more sense to me.
For those whose focus goes astray
will surely see a different way.

I sometimes contemplate this term,
as my daily crust I earn.
My focus stays with those in need,
other’s focus on their own greed.

Sometimes all their petty rules
become the focus of these fools.
They’ll call upon a higher force 
to try to get their way of course.

For them, the system’s paramount,
individual views don’t count.
A necessary nuisance people are,
they’re hid from view or kept afar.

Visions of their large empires
unmask their values and desires.
I cannot help my own distain
for people and their personal gain.

They try to get us all to look 
so we will sing from their hymn book.
So we will see their point of view,
as they still shit on me and you.

Material gain is what some see,
currency’s their commodity.
The more power materialists exert,
the less they worry who gets hurt.

If you look hard, it can be seen
who are the greedy and the mean.
For rich who wield their monetarist power,
life’s as sweet as yours is sour.

These people who exert control
see the world from their own goal.
Blinkered from the world at large
they’ll kill at will to stay in charge.

                                                                B. Withers (2009)   
                                                             (in: Catharsis 2010)

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