Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society,
So “BOO-frickin-HOO.”

Most personal income tax bills are lower – and tax refunds higher – than last year, thanks to Obama’s first budget (that got not a single Republican vote). And the tax rate we pay here is lower than in most other First World nations. (Is there any other with lower taxes than ours?)

It’s true, those of us fortunate enough to have high-paying jobs and/or significant investment income will doubtless see our tax rates rise in the not distant future. (So this is a good year to look hard at converting some or all your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.)

But I’d guess most Americans will see their low tax rates unchanged, or raised only very modestly; and that for high-income taxpayers, it will be not so different from what it was in the – very prosperous – Clinton/Gore era.

Man up, for God’s sake. And consider the possibility that paying taxes – or in this case, cashing your larger than usual refund check – is even more patriotic than complaining that you shouldn’t have to. You voted for Bush, you even reelected him, and thus you voted for the war in Iraq and the giant tax cuts for the rich and the massive debt and deficits they left us with. So now that it’s fiscal clean up time, grab a mop – not a gun – and help out like everybody else.

(Warm smile. I’m not really this tough – I would make a very bad drill sergeant – and I’m not crazy about paying taxes either. But I mean . . . really . . . did “the Greatest Generation” complain this much about taxes?)

TARAWA

Until this week I had not ever even heard of Tarawa. (Well, had you?) And now in response to Tuesday’s post comes an email from Roz Savage, who rowed there from San Francisco.

I don’t know which I find more astounding: that I am communicating, instantly, with a woman in a rowboat by an atoll in the middle of the Pacific . . . or that she rowed there.

Roz writes:

Planning to leave for Australia on Monday Tarawa time, which is Sunday in the US. So still a few more chances to get some zzzz before spending 100+ days alone in a tippy little rowboat!

Thanks for the publicity!!

Anyone is most welcome to use me as a spokesperson for the environment. Hell, even the Republicans. Well, okay, maybe not. But seriously, the environment should be at the top of EVERY political agenda. If/when we completely screw up the world, the consequences will not discriminate along party or country lines. Hopefully I speak as a passionately concerned human, rather than as a Brit or a liberal or anything else. We’re all on this planet together, and we have to look after it if we want it to look after us.

If you have 3 minutes, here‘s my latest little video. It’s a bit home-made (did it myself a couple of weeks ago, and I’m no pro!) but hopefully it gets the message out there. My TED talk should be going on YouTube soon as well, again with the message that every action counts.

Okay, time to get back to boat stuff!

All best

Roz

Roz Savage

2006 Solo Atlantic from Canaries to Antigua
2008 Solo Pacific I from California to Hawaii
2009 Solo Pacific II from Hawaii to Kiribati
2010 Solo Pacific III from Kiribati to Australia

Twitter: rozsavage
Rowing the Atlantic (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

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