Thank you note … to the taxpayers of Wisconsin and US

Thank you

No one likes to pay taxes but we might feel a bit different about it if the money were not squandered so incredibly and irresponsibly and if people who are recipients of tax payer generosity said even a simple thank you.  A thank you can make a big difference.

Night after night on OTR at 7pm we point out the waste and fraud in our government but a one hour cable news show can’t change Washington. (I wish!)  I would love if other cable news shows were likewise obsessed with waste and fraud since that would put enormous pressure on our disgraceful wasteful government.  There is strength in numbers.

I have yet to figure out why waste and fraud is not a bipartisan and exciting venture for politicians.  If you were a politician, would you not love to make thing better? fix things?  And since people don’t like waste, how could it be controversial?

Our government (and yes, that includes the government workers who are part of it and should know better) do such stupid (even mean) things with taxpayer money — eg paying dead people, thousands of them.  That is how irresponsible our government is.  It is disgraceful and it costs us hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayers money – money people worked hard to earn.  Imagine if the politicians and government workers  just decided to do the right thing and clean it up.  It would make a giant difference.   We would have money to pay down that debt and deal with other problems facing us.

What I want to do, and I realize it is small, very small – but overdue and needed – is just thank the taxpayers of Wisconsin who supported the University of Wisconsin – Madison so generously that I could attend that great University and get a degree in economics.  I did not come from a rich family (nor poor) and was able to go to the University of Wisconsin only because taxpayers in Wisconsin funded the school to such an extent that the tuition was within my reach.   College tuition has always been a struggle for not just the poor, but the middle class,too.  I thank the Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers, small business owners, shopkeepers, clerks, gas station attendants, brewery employees, cheese factory workers, etc paying taxes and making it then possible for me.   The Wisconsin taxpayers changed my life.

And the US taxpayers?  I thank them, too.  I went to Georgetown Law Center on student loans.   At the time, I could not afford the private law school tuition, the books or even the long distance transportation from Wisconsin to Washington, DC.  I needed loans and the way to get them was the Federally guaranteed program of student loans.  I was grateful then and I remain now grateful.  Yes, I paid back every nickel  – and the Federal taxpayers gave  students – like me – lots of time to meet our side of the loan commitment.  Because of the generosity of the Federal taxpayers, and the manageable low interest rate that my life we changed — and all for the better.  I really  appreciate it.

I know taxes are not voluntary — but it is a whole lot easier to pay if you know that the recipients who benefit are grateful.  It is fun to help, not fun to be had.  Do the recipients of taxpayer largesse ever say thank you?  Do they show gratitude?  I don’t think so….lots of takers, and no thankers.

Perhaps we need to change our culture a bit — how we look at things.  We need to figure out a way to let taxpayers know that, while the taxes are not voluntary, they can help and can change lives.   We also need to waste less, and appreciate more.

And one other thing, clean up the tax code.  Those 3300+ earmarks in the tax code are just special deals gotten for special people by politicians.  It is not fair.  Only the influential can get some special deal.  That is not right.

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