Ducks don’t argue for a moral responsibility

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By Brad Bowman

I can’t stand some of the things my tax money gets spent on.

After talking to our local state legislators about the issues in the upcoming session, I am equally optimistic and equally ruffled about the feathers on who gets my money and where it goes.

Taxes ruffle everyone’s feathers except for the ducks.

Despite my ongoing negotiations with my boss and the corporation that owns us, they still don’t see my reasoning for a six-figure salary. For that reason, I am not the richest writer in the world and spend modestly.

I don’t own a grand historic home, like the ones I’ve been writing about, not yet. But the things I do spend money on would seem lavish to my late grandfather.

If I had told him in the 1970s, that people would one day spend as little as $45 a month or $130 plus on cable television, he would say they didn’t need it. I then imagined telling him that everyone — I wouldn’t incriminate myself of course — would spend in excess of $100 a month for a smart phone. He would shake his head and say there isn’t anything smart about it.

Perhaps the greatest amount of confusion I could cause him would be taxes regarding fire and law enforcement.

If I told him I wasn’t willing to pay $15 more so my local fire department — people we have lived near and known our entire lives — could have updated equipment that allowed them to safely put out a fire he would say I was damn crazy. If I told him I refused to have my taxes raised so that law enforcement could afford to keep my neighborhood, my property and family safe he would think I was knee deep in my cups.

Sure not everyone has a smart phone or cable television. Some senior citizens and disabled residents live on a budget and can’t afford more than just what they need.

But some of us have enough money, even if we don’t get paid like the wealthiest living writers, to afford an increase.

I don’t have children but I pay a school tax. I don’t exploit my local library but know it is important enough to be taxed for it. Doesn’t everyone else pay in the same manner?

I know people who spend more than $15 a week on cigarettes, beer, junk food and make up. None of those things, including smart phones and cable television, would matter if their car had been broken into or their house was on fire.

Investing in the safety and well being of our property and others seems like a responsibility and a moral duty. I would gladly pay more for that.