A shocking thing happened to me the other day. I got my paycheck, and for the first time, I felt the unfairness of taxes. OMG was all I could say.
This paycheck wasn’t my first, but it was the first time I saw how much was taken out for taxes. It was no big deal when I got a check for $92 and deposited that in the bank. What got me was when I saw I had really made $154, and I was only getting $90-something. I was downright annoyed by that.
I understand we need to be taxed, so we have roads, schools, libraries and public buildings. I appreciate being able to get to places we need to go on the nice smooth roads. My dad works on the roads, and it is the taxpayer money that goes to pay for those. I love the library, and I think it is definitely a good use of the money taken from my checks. I know we need to pay public employees and help people in need.
What upsets me most is the idea of people not being responsible with my contributions. When you are spending someone else’s money, you don’t put as much thought into how you are spending it, as you would if you were spending your own. I have so much more fun when I am shopping and my mom is paying for the items. It feels like you don’t have to think about the prices and choices as much. It feels easy. When I am shopping with my own money ... well, let’s just say I have only bought two items since I started working. That is one concern I have about taxes. People are spending money that was earned by someone else. It might be easier to be irresponsible with that money because it is like going shopping with your mom’s wallet.
I know there are people out there spending taxpayer money on fancy meals, decorating rooms, special vacations and awesome clothes. That makes me mad. I don’t think it is fair that I am paying for someone else’s luxuries when I am trying to save and live conservatively.
I also realize that there are many people out there capable of working and choosing not to work. I know there are people who are not able to work and can’t find a job, but there are others who just choose not. That doesn’t feel fair either.
With the elections, the citizens of the United States had the opportunity to vote for the candidates who will represent their values and choices. Being age 14, I won’t have that chance for anotherfour years. I am working, paying taxes and contributing my part, but I don’t even get a say in who is elected.
After my first experience with seeing my tax withholdings, I am going to follow the ostrich, stick my head in the sand and throw away that little slip in my paycheck without looking at it ... at least until I am 18 and can vote.
Amelia Bystry, 14, is a home-schooled student who resides in rural Princeton. You can contact Amelia in care of this newspaper at P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.