Planet Money linked to a study done by a think tank called Third Way (they bill themselves the moderate voice of the progressive movement). It's an intriguing and helpful look at where my money actually goes. Surprise (and yeah, I'm a bit socialist on this one)---I feel like I could give more. There are so many things that I have benefited from over the years--the arts, highways, transportation, and especially education. Here that, congress? Someone making less than $200,000 a year could deal with her taxes being raised. Now, that statement comes with specific responsibilities, like actually putting that money towards doing good in those areas, but you have my vote. For instance, if there was a box on my tax form that said I could donate $100 extra for programs that directly fund students doing gap years after high school in Americorps or City Year, done. No qualms from this girl. I feel like there really is a general dislike of taxes because it's like money that is thrown away. And, I kind of feel like that as far as some of the money in that list. As in, if I could put my portion of the defense budgets towards clean energy R&D, or towards employing servicemen and women in Greg Mortensen's school-building initiative in Afghanistan, that would be swell. One day, when I'm enlightened despot of the world and get to design tax laws...ha. In my dreams (nightmares, more like!)
PS Science naming hilarity of the day: farads are used to denote capacitance, or the capability of an object to hold an electric charge. When you have a picofarad (pF), you have, quite literally, a puff. Seriously. One picofarad=one puff. Whoever thought scientists don't have a sense of humor was way off. Okay, so maybe our sense of humor doesn't make sense to your average non-periodic-table-reciting crowd, but a puff? Excellent.