Today is tax day. This means little to me. I do my taxes on the first possible day for online filing. Refunds make doing taxes a much more exciting prospect. Still, I have been thinking about taxes lately. The other day, I saw this posted on facebook
Being my normal, skeptical self, I had to google this to see if it was true. And it is. Well there was no federal income tax anyway. There were still property taxes. And there may have been sales taxes in certain municipalities, etc. Anyway, the government was funded through a tax on alcohol (about 40% percent of revenue was from this) and tariffs, taxes on imported goods. Then the prohibitionists started lobbying to make alcohol illegal so they had to offer an alternative funding for the federal government. Hence, the income tax. Fascinating.
So thank a prohibitionist as you do your taxes.
Poor prohibitionists. They created a hated American institution, the IRS, to fund one of the largest scale failures in America. I mean there was a constitutional amendment banning alcohol. The only constitutional amendment to be repealed.
And then it made me think about gun control. People feeling like the government is way overstepping its constitutional bounds. Prohibition and income tax are more of an intrusion into people's personal lives than gun control ever thought of being. Of course, gun control is an issue of not just personal life, but the ability of citizens to defend themselves should they ever feel the need. So they are different. But to people in 1913, I am sure all these things felt like the federal government was moving into their back yards and breathing down their necks. I have to report ever nickel I earn? I am constitutionally banned from having a hot toddy when I have a cold? People against gun control and people rebelling against income tax and prohibition could sympathize well with each other. "They call that GUV-mint!" And prohibitionists and gun control advocates could probably swap a few tales. If time travel were possible that is.
There is nothing new under the sun.
I get so caught up in thinking about how the world has gone crazy. How can it go on like this? Senseless, careless, evil. What sort of world will my kids live in as adults? What will they have to fight against to keep a small circle of peace around them?
Lately, I read Exodus by Leon Uris. Quite a bit in there about the Holocaust. And I realized people in the 40's, as they learned about what had been happening in those concentration camps, must have felt it couldn't get worse. How could the world even support such an over-abundance of evil? And then there was Stalin and his gulags. Pol Pot and his regime. And so many, many more. This old world apparently has a vast tolerance of evil--it just keeps keeping on with evil flaring up to an inferno every once in awhile.
But then, there are bright spots. Seeing a crocus poke through snow cover. A puffy-cloud spring day. Seeing a vague stirring of green in our brown world. And most importantly, a day like yesterday, spent with faithful people who manage to have hope, peace, love, and joy living in a world gone mad. And I realize that this world has always been mad. And I can let that depress me and I can worry myself sick about where it is going. Or I can just "be still and know that I am God."
I know, how did I go from taxes to God? But all these things have been buzzing around my brain. Yesterday was such a restorative. I can let all this fuss and worry go. I want to understand how to be still. To be quiet. To see his beauty, feel his might.
And now, for some calming lichen and moss pictures. I love moss. The other day, while the girls had vacation, we all went to help Justin collect sap. Help, as in, Justin collected sap while Gilbert sat on the tailgate cheering him on, Elsie slept in the truck, the girls ran around the woods, and I took pictures of moss. It is so green. My winter tired mind is simply fascinated by its greenness.
Now, I am going to go pickle some radishes that are about to go bad and reorganize under my bed. I really love my life. And that isn't sarcasm in case you thought it was. It gives me great pleasure to save those radishes from the pig pail and to have under my bed orderly. My world is little. And I love it!