where the writers are

I spent most of yesterday doing my taxes for 2007.  It takes hours, involves calculating a lot of numbers on a variety of pieces of paper.  As I was pressing numbers on my calculator, I formed a plan.

When I started paying estimated income tax, I found myself writing checks four times a year to the federal and state governments.  The wars against everyone over "there," were just getting going, and I felt like my checks were bombs.  Or gasoline to fuel the bombs.  Or to dress the people who were manning the  missiles.  Of course I'd written these checks once a year before, but it began to feel that I was directly responsible, that I was funding.  Aiding and abetting.

This is what I want when I send out my tax money.  A checklist of where my taxes go.  We should have some control, right?  We are paying, and I don't want my little checks going into a big melting pot of dough.  We would all be free to say where we want our money to go, so here is my list:

Schools, libraries, roads (potholes!), fire fighters, parks, the arts, food programs for whoever needs food, research for alternative energy sources, parent education.

Okay, so it's a small list, but these are my pet causes.  I know you all have your own.  The checklist would be immense, but at least we'd have some say.

All right.  I'm off to the accountant's office soon.  Maybe I'll tell him about my plan.