Finances & Money

10 reasons you shouldn’t complain about paying taxes


Taxes. They’re the bane of our existence. We all hate paying them, we love to complain about them, and we wonder what we get in return for paying taxes.

Take a look around and you’ll find out!

For a few thousand (ok, tens of thousands) of dollars per year, you get the following things:

  1. The roads on which you drive. Oh yeah, throw in subways, buses, and passenger trains, since they’re all government subsidized, even if you pay a toll or fee.
  2. Unemployment benefits. Let’s hope you never need them though.
  3. Police, fire and EMT protection. What, you think fires put themselves out? Who do you think is protecting us?
  4. Medicare. My grandmother would be in the poor house if she had to pay for her own medical expenses.
  5. Social Security Benefits. Many people my age (20s-30s) complain about paying Social Security since we don’t think we’ll ever get to use it. However, my grandmother and most likely my parents will be highly dependent on Social Security as they get older. I’m financing my elders’ retirement, and I’m totally fine with that. Otherwise, I’d have to help them pay the bills somehow.
  6. Disaster recovery and control. Yeah, FEMA was late getting to areas hit by hurricanes, but they got there. Federal, state and local governments help rebuild communities, clear snow from roads, help prevent New Orleans from flooding (however successful), put out major forest fires threatening our homes, and so much more.
  7. Public Education. I went to a private elementary and high school, but a state university. With my family’s income, I could never have afforded a private institution without huge grants and scholarships. My grandmother often complains that she has paid school taxes (in PA) for decades, but none of her kids and grandkids used those taxes. However, paying those school taxes helped make the local school system successful, which helped keep her home value increasing.
  8. Welfare and WIC.. As much as I think the welfare system is corrupt and many recipients are cheating us out of our tax dollars, some of my upstanding friends and relatives couldn’t make it through life without that extra subsidy.
  9. Small business assistance. The government wants small business owners to succeed. Entrepreneurship is what makes this country going, and the government is glad to help the little guys and gals make their dreams happen.
  10. Worker protection legislation like minimum wage (clarified based on comments). I got my first job at age 15 working at McDonald’s (technically, I started 3 months prior with a paper route), and have been working ever since. Throughout college, I depended on my part-time income to finance my social and academic life. If there was no minimum wage enforcement, who knows how little I would have been making. Beyond that, millions of Americans depend on minimum wage to pay the bills. Luckily, state governments are passing more legislation to increase the minimum wage.

So, while taxes provide us many benefits, you don’t want to cheat the government out of payments you legally owe. That said I do advocate taking all the deductions which you are legally entitled to, so be sure your taxes are done in a manner that’s both fair to the government and to you.

You’re still allowed to complain though.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • JimO, I mentioned minimum wage as a “side effect” of the federal government, rather than one of those direct government benefits.

    By paying taxes, you get legislation that protects us as workers, however indirectly.

  • A few comments.
    1) I would add the military as a huge benefit
    2) Didn’t like seeing social security on the list. If the govt let your grandparents keep their money and invest it on their own, they would have been better off.
    3) Enforcing a minimum wage actually hurts small businesses and the poor – what is wrong with the free market? I rather not pay politician to make the law.

    • have you actually looked at the gov’s cited allocations? MILITARY IS AT THE TOP AND MEDICAL BLAH BLAH IS AT THE BOTTOM, makes you wonder how much they care about the wounded soldiers

  • If that’s all the government did with our money, I’m pretty sure people would complain less. It’s all the useless crap they spend it on – like the mating patterns of rare African animals. Meanwhile, my kids go to a school where the average grades fell 20% last year.

    No, you shouldn’t cheat on your taxes.

    But Congress should stop giving itself a payraise when they waste our money all the time. Shouldn’t the taxpayers vote on whether or not they get a pay raise?

    (Slowly stepping away from my soapbox)

  • Believe me, in my line of work, I see government waste first-hand. I have the same complaints, but like I said, your money IS paying for things you use, even if it’s also paying for things you don’t use.

  • i want to stop paying social security…i could go on a rant about the history of it, but lets sum it up that social security is a dinosaur and needs to be stopped, and people need to be given a total refund on what they paid into it.

    WE will never see a penny of social security money…book it.

  • And one giant reason that *everyone* should complain about taxes *as loudly* and *as frequently* as possible:

    If we don’t complain, taxes will always increase. They will *never* decrease.

  • if you voted for bush, you voted for bigger govt and bigger taxes

    people need to inform themselves more before they vote, instead of using the tired never going to change worthless thing of “abortion” as a reason to vote. you had the best chance with bushco for 6 years, didn’t happen, never will.

    vote for smaller govt, that is why i am voting for ron paul…read up on him, the guy is what we need.

  • more rebuttals for the other parts (just because i love ya bro, and i am the site’s sponsored troll)

    1. roads are basically covered by the tax on GAS…that is why people get pissed at joggers and people on bicyclists who think they own it. when you use gas, you support the upkeep of the roads (insert PENNDot joke here)

    2. we need to audit unemployment back in the day, unemployment is way too lax nowadays.

    3. they do NOT get enough to support themselves, hence they need to do their own funddrives across the country…also, it was the easiest thing to take funds away from in simcity

    4. you know, if we stopped funding medical companies, we wouldn’t need to fund medicare as much as we do…yes, we pay medical companies to do research on drugs, then they price gouge us on the medicines…we need to crack down on them…but PAC’s buy the congresscritters, so that won’t happen

    5. ranted on it

    6. i think its bull that the whole country should rebuild small sections, since you and i came from the same city which got ZERO federal funds to rebuild it, but built itself on the salvation army and other private charitable organizations.

    7. no child left behind is a joke, but is a good idea. i am sick of funding worthless public schools who do not produce quality students.

    8. welfare and wic is good, what we need to do is STOP SSI from being taken out of social security, and be tacked onto the welfare system (trust me, it would stop the bleeding of the social security system by 20%)

    9. i refuse assistance of the govt to any business…the govt has bailed out amtrak, gm, and every other freaking company in the united states, and we are the ones who pay for it. take out a small business loan like mom and pop stores back in the 20’s and earlier, and stop relying on the govt for everything.

    10. now, as you can imagine, i am against the raise…the reason being, is for every wage increase, they pass along the costs to us, the consumers. people who make above min wage are the ones who are hurt, because they have to use their wages to support those who are govt mandated to cut into their costs.

  • Booooo taxes! In reference to #9, if government wanted to help out small businesses, they could reduce their tax burden.

    I know businesses can take all kinds of tax deductions but the burden and effort it takes to understand, comply, and file all the different taxes they have to pay is ridiculous IMO.

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  • I think paying taxes is a duty and no one should evade paying taxes.

    however, i doubt any of my Income Tax money goes to any of the reasons you mentioned.

    Education is funded by the state lottery.
    Roads are funded by gas tax.
    Firemen/police, etc are funded by Property taxes.
    SS/Medicaid/Unemployment are funded by their respective taxes.

    Income tax however mostly goes towards government waste and fighting some bogus war that no one wants or supports.

  • the only good thing that our fed taxes pay for, and the ONLY good thing, is the national weather service…3 whole tax dollars per person per year goes towards this vital service.

    and adventure…people want the war to continue…just ask the people in AIPAC, haliburton, and the oil companies, and the confused people in the bible belt, who believe it will help bring on the second coming of christ.

  • […] Eric Faith was so perturbed by my article “10 reasons you shouldn’t complain about paying taxes” that he just had to send me an article to argue why social security is bad. Actually, I saw […]

  • If taxes are required then how come the IRS can’t produce a law that imposes a liability on the people? Also why does their code not even define the word income but we’re supposed to swear under perjury.

    All 10 programs are a flat out scam. Though some may be useful if done right and predominantly under state and local control.

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