Today is April 15, a date on the calendar that once had an entire nation shaking in our shoes: Tax day.
But not this year.
There’s a little extra time to file as the federal and state income tax deadline falls on Tuesday, April 18th since, this year, April 15 falls on a Saturday. The target date is further delayed because of the Washington, D.C. “Emancipation Day” holiday. On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia.
Slavery did not officially end in the rest of the United States until after the American Civil War and none of us are freed from our obligation to pay taxes. But, as we sign the check, it might help to look at all of what our money pays for.
Of course, it depends on which side of the political divide you’re on, what you’ll cheer about, but here’s one example. President Trump has spent the last week or two calling our attention to the importance of a strong military, first sending missiles into Syria to avenge the gassing of civilians in that war-torn country, then dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb ever on an Islamic State outpost and now sending warships to perch off the coast of North Korea.
Or, if seeking a peaceful oasis is more your style, today and tomorrow, as well as April 22 and 23, are National Park Week Weekends - that is, admission is free!
And those are only two examples.
Paying taxes is never easy but it’s a small price to pay for all that it means to be an American.