Every April 15, I go through the same emotional two-step:
1. Outrage. Since we’ve got Adaptive on a firm footing, I’ve been writing fairly large, annual checks to the IRS. It’s painful every year, because it feels like the government puts a major impediment in the way of anyone trying to turn earnings into wealth. It doesn’t seem fair that, as my income surpasses the level necessary for my family to have a decent lifestyle and begins to allow me to accumulate capital for investment, the government helps itself to 50%.
2. Acceptance / appreciation. If you look back through human history, our situation is quite rare. On the one hand, the government provides the safety, security and contract enforcement necessary to undertake our kind of complex projects. On the other hand, the government also allows us the freedom to do so, without requiring bribes or special familial lineage or anything like that. We live in an amazing country where, if you are ambitious, disciplined and honest, you can do almost anything. And paying taxes supports / enables that state-of-affairs.
Am I going to over-pay my taxes in thanks? Hell no. But I will think about the people who created this amazing place and the people who have worked so hard to keep it amazing, smile, and sign the check.
Happy tax day.