I was born on Tax Day, April 15, 1976. It was the bicentennial, the 200th anniversary of our country’s founding and all babies born that year had their photo taken in front of a flag. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to those of us born in 1976 (granted, it only has about 26 likes so I guess no one really cares about the bicentennial anymore.) As a child, nothing out of the ordinary struck me about my birthday, aside from my dislike of the month of April in Illinois which is usually rainy and very cold (this year it’s actually snowing.) I do remember that my Dad never forgot my birthday and he seemed to find that funny. He used to laugh and call me “Daddy’s little tax deduction,” which, of course meant nothing to me as a care-free child. As I got older, that all changed and as I became politically aware (and very conservative) the irony of my birthday began to sink in.
My birthday took on a whole new significance on April 15, 2009 when I attended my first Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Rick Santelli’s epic rant on the trading floor of the Mercantile Exchange. It was bitterly cold (as usual during April in Chicago) but hundreds of people showed up and walked for hours protesting the unreasonable ever-growing federal power over our lives. At the time the bailouts of corporations and the corruption of Fannie and Freddie were hot topics. The middle class was suffering under huge tax burdens and the government was growing bigger every day. (Nothing has changed.) The Tea Party as it exists now did not exist that day. It was just the beginning.
I’ve always believed God has a sense of humor, and my birthday is proof. Every year I’m forced to snicker at the irony that I was born on what would become the symbol of all that’s wrong with America, and in the very year that celebrated our independence from tyranny. Prophetic? Most definitely, considering I would end up spending my adult life exposing government idiocy, tax waste and fraud and fighting against our ever-growing government.
In honor of Tax Day (and my birthday) this year’s outrage comes from Orland Park Public Library where the taxpayers of Illinois are paying not only for men to watch child pornography on library computers but also for the exorbitant salaries of government employees at twice the rate these people would be paid in the private sector. (FYI, the average salary for a “Maintenance Supervisor” in the private sector is $39,000.) It is important to note that Illinois is so broke it regularly does not pay its bills and it cannot pay the pensions it has promised. This could have something to do with the fact that some pensions are as high as $350,000. But facts and numbers never get in the way when government workers’ entitlement comes up for a vote by Illinois lawmakers. Instead they just raise taxes on the private sector by record amounts and continue paying “Maintenance Supervisors” $100,000 a year. Happy birthday to me and Happy Tax Day to us all!