Tax day in America is a day we should be showing gratitude, not teabags. Conservatives love to brag about living in the land of the brave and the home of the free. But bravery and freedom come at a price. That price is paid by us, the American taxpayer, and it's much less of a price in dollars than is paid by taxpayers in other countries. Most developed nations have tax rates that surpass ours. In Sweden, the top tax rate is 57%, in Germany it's 45%, Israel 46%, Japan 50%, the Netherlands 52%, and the ever-popular France weighs in at 40%. But bitter election losers, while clinging to their guns by buying them in greater numbers, are busy calling President Obama a socialist while he's fighting to bring the top tax rate back to one that is ten points lower than it was during the Reagan administration.
Joe Biden was correct when he said it's patriotic to pay taxes. With 21% of the federal budget going to military spending, perhaps the tax protesters think that's too big a price to pay. When are they going to call for privatization of the military so those of us who don't use it don't have to pay for it? Will the tax protesters promise not to use roads and bridges and pledge to keep their children out of public schools -- including universities -- that are partially funded by the government? Will they renounce all research and development that goes toward cures for diseases and will they make sure no one in their families is spared with advances based on stem cell research? And let's make sure they don't eat any food that is grown on farms that receive government subsidies. Maybe this technique can replace the South Beach diet as the most popular road to weight reduction (an unpaved road, since they're not going to want to pay for that, either).
Instead of sending tea bags to Congress in a post-9/11, anthrax-weary America and thinking you're some kind of revolutionary, here's a better way to celebrate our wonderful freedoms. Show some gratitude. Be thankful that we live in a country with relatively low tax rates, a land defended by the world's best military; a place with a growing awareness of the need for national health care and where higher education should be, can be and will be within reach for all; where scientific medical advances and development of alternative energy will make us truly independent in the years to come. And all of this is courtesy of our tax dollars. Now, that, my fellow Americans, would honor tax day properly, and show some patriotism.