In 2006 a British Parliament member asked Prime Minister Tony Blair why he believed so much in America and its President. The Prime Minister replied,  “A simple way to take measure of a country is look at how many want in and how many want out.”

If you’re proud to be an American, and you enjoy all of the freedoms that come with the American lifestyle including freedom of religion, freedom or speech and the free enterprise system, then we might as well put a value on that lifestyle and call that value “taxes” and pay taxes with as gracious an attitude as possible. 

Taxes must be paid and instead of grudgingly paying them, maybe we can shift to a more positive mindset and pay them with a thankful heart and with the thought of  “thank you for the privilege of living in the USA.”

Taxes are like eating our vegetables or going for that annual mammogram or prostrate check up.

If we want to be healthy we have to do these things and as we are doing them, the its up to our own state of mind that will determine how painful or painless the task is. If we want to live in the United States, then we have to pay for that privilege. As a student of Napoleon Hill and practitioner of positive thinking, it only makes sense that if we can somehow change our thinking on taxes, then we can feel better about April 15th and Oct. 15th and write checks with thanks and praise of being an American.

I’ll be honest, I googled the IRS and tried hard to find positive things about it.  I tried searches such as “positive things about the IRS,” “Good things the IRS does,” and as many variances of the two as I could think of.  When my exhaustive search came up as empty as when Heraldo opened that tomb on national TV years ago,  I decided to write this blog post and maybe, just maybe, help a few people change their mindsets on paying taxes.

This article isn’t about being for or against taxes, tax reform or IRS Scandal. This is simply an article to help inspire a positive attitude (to anyone who wishes to be so inspired) and help move from a negative mindset of paying taxes to a positive mindset when writing out those checks made payable to the IRS.

A very brief history of taxes:

The roots of the IRS go back to the Civil War when President Lincoln and Congress the position of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and a tax on income was imposed in order to pay for the war efforts.

There was a time when income tax was declared unconstitutional but in 1913 the state of Wyoming provided the final vote needed for “majority ruling” and the 16th Amendment was ratified, giving Congress the authority to enact an income tax. That same year the first 1040 Form was created and a 1% tax was imposed upon net personal incomes above $3000 and 6% on net personal incomes above $500,000.

In 1918, during World War I, the top rate of income tax rose as high as 77% in order to pay for the war effort.

It then dropped sharply in post-war years to 24% in 1929. It rose during the Depression and during World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments.

In the 1950’s the Bureau of Internal Revenue reorganized to replace the volunteer and patronage system with career professionals and the name changed to the Internal Revenue Service. In 1998, the IRS restructured to its current organizational model resembling a private sector company that services customers.

Taxes are the monetary fuel that feed the American infrastructure.

From military protection (both nationally and internationally) to parks, public schools, public transportation, stadiums, parking complexes, our roadways and the hub of it all, our nation’s government, these things would not exist without taxes. Again, this article isn’t concerned with opinions on tax money allocation, its simply intended to provide a few basic facts about taxes in an effort to swing the mindset a little more to the positive side when it comes to check writing day.

America’s most Fervent Supporters

In the end, I found that many of America’s staunchest supporters are people who live outside the United States, some are in the political arena and some are not. Many of them continually quote this spin-off of Prime Minister Blair,   “America passes the critical gate test. Open the gate and see where people go, in or out. This is still a country where people flock to.”

Sometimes we have to pay for privileges.

Some Americans pay to live in certain neighborhoods, be members of certain clubs or dine in certain restaurants. My own personal cognition, which may or may not be the same for you, is that taxes are my payment for the privilege of living in the USA and enjoying the freedoms that America offers.  Just as the fancy clubhouse has their rules to follow for membership, so do we have rules called the US Constitution Yes, these rules can be changed but for right now they say I have to pay my taxes for the privilege of living here, so until something changes I’ll get my check, my envelope, my stamp and graciously make my payment and be thankful for the privilege of membership in the United States of America.