Dear Mr. President,
I confess, I paid no federal income taxes this year. This seems to be upsetting to a number of people on TV, and Glenn Beck seems to think this means I ought to be drafted into military service. I don't know that I'd make a particularly good soldier, to be honest. I'm happy to contribute to the work of running our government and the costs of social services, infrastructure projects, and national defense, but, in the spirit of full disclosure, I thought I'd let you know what else I didn't do this year.
For starters, I didn't receive a bonus while leading a company that lost money or accepted tax payer money as a bail out. I didn't lay off any employees, cut any one's wages, or slash their benefits. I didn't cheat on my taxes by misrepresenting my income or eligibility for tax credits; I didn't hide my profits in offshore subsidiaries. I didn't bribe legislators into writing loopholes in the tax code to allow me to pay less. I didn't make huge amounts of money creating a financial crisis that devastated the economy. I didn't manipulate consumers with credit card offers or sell them mortgages they couldn't afford; I didn't present a false picture of my financial health in order to dupe my shareholders. I didn't take money from gullible people who trusted me and ruin their retirement or life savings. I didn't start any wars, I didn't commit a single murder, I didn't violate any one's human rights.
My state doesn't have an income tax, so I pay almost 10% in sales tax on everything I buy. I do take public transportation or walk because I can't afford a car. I share a two-bedroom apartment with 3 other girls because we can't afford higher rent. I pay medicare and social security taxes, even though both may be bankrupt by the time I qualify for them. I support local business, local artists, and local farmers, and I help decrease the amount of pesticides and herbicides running off into waterways because I buy organic. I contribute to my company's charitable fund, as well as other charities. I recycle. I try to avoid breaking the law whenever possible. I take on more student debt each year, as tuition (and class sizes) go up. I work for a living, and I support myself as best I can.
I'm not perfect; there is a lot more I can do for my community, and for the world. But I try to increase the good that I do and decrease the bad, as much as possible. If that's not enough for Fox News or Drudge or Glenn Beck, well, I guess I'm just going to have to find a way to live with their disdain.