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Here it comes, folks. None of us can stop it. It is as inevitable as death and taxes. Oh, yes, that’s what it is: taxes. Does the term 1040 strike terror into your hearts? “But,” you say, as though words could hold back the tide, “this is only March.” True, but remember, you only have until March forty-sixth to do the deed. (I prefer not to besmirch gentle April—see next month’s ALIVE.) With this most frightening, almost immoral, subject breached and in the open, I must at this point render a confession: “I do not mind paying income tax.” There, I feel better having gotten that off my chest. Wait, I need to amend that slightly: “I do not mind paying MY FAIR SHARE OF income tax.” In no way whatsoever am I complaining about my personal life style. I have never missed a meal due to lack of money—time, yes, but never due to money. I do not need or want the latest fashions in clothes. I love my three year-old little Honda Fit. Shirley and I live quite nicely in our 3BR, 2BA condo in Rossmoor. But it frosts my buns, now in their ninth decade, when people who make vastly more money and live infinitely more luxurious lives than I, pay less in taxes and, indeed, sometimes even pay NO taxes. Nor am I happy about my tax money purchasing $200 screw drivers, or whatever that nonsense was. I do not appreciate a Congress that bellows platitudes, keeps all their own perks perking, while the bulk of the nation’s government was shut down. I do not A L I V E E A S T B A Y m a r c h 2 0 1 6 26 EDWIN COHEN want my bucks keeping legislators in office for years while sitting on their hands and not attacking the problems we face as a nation; waiting to retire and become consultants in order to accumulate Jillions of dollars. (My fellow democrats, do not get holier than thou about that last issue. “I ain’t gonna tackle that one ‘cause I might not get reelected,” crosses party lines.) Why then do I not mind paying taxes? Simple. That is the necessary cost in order to live in, what in my opinion, is the greatest nation in the world—now or ever! Does “greatest” mean we have no problems? Of course, not. We got ‘em and we got ‘em in spades: race; internal violence; immigration; Social Security; policing the world, especially the 12th Century Middle East; the ugliness of modern politics; trying to force other countries to accept democracy; the list could on and almost everyone reading this could add to the list. Of course we have problems, but if a person should want to call the sitting President, regardless of party, a dirty, rotten @#%&* or call him/her the greatest person alive, neither has to worry about being carted off in the middle of the night and simply disappearing. Although I am not an observant or religious person, being Jewish probably makes me a bit more sensitive to this issue. Both my wife and I are first generation Americans, born in California and Pennsylvania, respectively. In order to escape the pogroms, my mother’s family came to this country from what was then Czarist AND THEN I WROTE . . . THE TIME OF MARCH


Alive_March2016
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