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Smile, It's Patriot's Day! How to stop worrying and love April 15th
By George F. Smith
It's a shame so many taxpayers get upset paying for their beloved government services. Why continue to let April 15th be a day of nausea and nose bleeds? We need a little attitude adjustment. Let's take a hint from Congress and their passage of the Patriot Act -- let's paint a pretty face on that date and call it Patriot's Day.
Congress could pass legislation requiring radio and TV stations to play John Philip Sousa marathons and show John Wayne war movies all day. (First Amendment? What's that?) Between flicks, stations could play "America the Beautiful" while showing scenes covering Amtrak, the Postal Service, and public schools -- or anything else the $2 trillion budget might include.
Maybe we could get Congress to stand together as they did following 9-11 and holler out a big "Thank You!" to the American people, perhaps blowing us all a big kiss Dinah Shore style. We could respond with a warm gesture of our own. A rendition of their justly famous "God Bless America" would flush our eyes with tearful pride. They could follow with a rowdy, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" -- referring, of course, to us humble taxpayers and our eagerness to fund needed government services.
To help cover the cost of Congress's dip into show business, they could cut a CD that the Treasury Department could sell on-air for the standard $19.95, plus government mark-up. But that's not all. If taxpayers call THAT DAY they would get a bonus -- a collector's-item photo of Congress itself.
Don't you think this would make tax day easier?
A national holiday with a patriotic strain wouldn't be right without a speech. How about a fireside chat with appropriations wizard Robert Byrd or IRS commissioner Charles O. Rossotti, with a dog and smiling wife planted nearby? Byrd could remind us never to give a sucker an even break. Rossotti could assure us that taxation is the foundation of civilization -- our freedom's insurance premiums -- and not the "power to destroy" as some cynic once said.
When we learn to love April 15th, the president might want to follow with a few words of his own, stressing in prefab language what our dollars mean to our lives when they're in the hands of the state. He could surround himself with children and talk about our nobility for investing in America's future. He could applaud our patriotism for our willingness to pay rather than our resolve to pay the consequences.
Of course, what would be a gala event without a few comedians? The Fed could hire professional comics to roast the government. Nothing builds a bond between taxed and collector like a few jokes at the taxman's expense. The comedians could slam specific scandals, pending two-thirds Congressional approval of their spoofs.
Since religion is making a comeback in the wake of the attacks, it would be fitting to have the Creator give His blessing. A leading clergyman could explain how taxes are no different from tithes, aside from picky details of enforcement and other irrelevancies.
To make the 15th a truly anticipated date, the government could make a slight change to the tax system and institute 100 per cent income confiscation. It would be like Christmas -- everyone would get a rebate in mid-April, especially those who didn't work. The rebate would be what we live on until the following April 15th. Of course, eligibility for funds would be based on demonstrable patriotism, which our expanded intelligence services could easily verify. They'll know who's been naughty or nice.
If we can believe the polls, we love Big Government now, so why not celebrate the Big Price that goes with it? It's not tax day, it's Patriot's Day -- Patriots Are Taxpayers Rendering Income Over To Deceitful Anti-market Yahoos.
George Smith is full-time freelance writer with a special interest in liberty issues and screenwriting. His articles have appeared on Ether Zone, and in the Gwinnett Daily Post, Writer's Yearbook, Creative Loafing, and Goal Magazine. He has a web site for screenwriters and other writers at http://personal.atl.bellsouth.net/atl/g/f/gfs543/
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