When I was doing my taxes this year, it occurred to me that the process is a bit like praying the prayer of examen. This Ignatian prayer is used at the end of the day to think back on what happened that day, to ponder where God was in it and to think ahead to the next day. In doing my taxes, I was forced to think back on the events of my life in 2011, both the good and the bad.
Have you filed your tax return yet? If you prepared it yourself, congratulations on navigating that complex web of forms and instructions, an ongoing complexity brought to you by a strange lobby comprised of tax-preparation companies and antitax activists. Senate Republicans blocked the Buffett Rule yesterday, a sad moved surpassed in sadness perhaps only by the smallness of the proposed minimum tax itself.
Paying taxes in this country is ordinarily accompanied by much grumbling. But paying taxes is not just a legal duty but a moral opportunity.