I’m a big fan of tea; I like it iced or hot, sweetened or not. I have a couple teapots that I truly cherish, and I even splurged on a teapot calendar to hang in my kitchen this year. I also love and appreciate (if I don’t always fully understand) art. So I’m not being a barbarian when I say that I was pretty aggravated to learn about the $500,000 of tax payer’s money going to partially fund a teapot museum. Now, I must say that the Sparta Teapot Museum looks like a lovely place, and I’m sure that I’ll add that to my list of places to visit sometime. Right after that giant ball of tinfoil out in the Midwest somewhere. Oh, Christ, did we pay for that, too?
Now we’ve all heard about the $500.00 toilet seats and the $900.00 hammers that the government likes to buy (why they can’t shop at Walmart, I’ll never know, or if you’re opposed to the Walmart demon, even the corner mom and pop has some lovely hammers in the $5.00 to $10.00 range), but this is something new and different. Our taxes are going to fund all sorts of useful things like teapot museums in Sparta, Somewhere. The good news is that next year Congress will open a website that will show all of us exactly where tax dollars are going. Won’t that be nifty? I think it’s a fine idea, and I’m sure I’ll be browsing the site a lot: it’ll make us laugh, cry, scream and be just as good as any summer movie.
Maybe we can even . . . oh, I don’t know, hold Washington accountable for a change? How is it that we can’t get decent, affordable prescription drugs, but we can spend almost half a million dollars on some shrubs by the Capitol building? Now, I know half a million dollars just isn’t what it used to be, but my guess is that there may be some other expenditures that could be filtered into something truly useful. Like health care. Like Social Security (in some form). Like the military–don’t they need equipment? You know, the kind of jeeps that have armor on them? Or that our guys don’t have to weld metal trash can lids to in order to protect themselves? Or we could at least send them better trash can lids, no? A nice blow torch? What about our school system? Maybe we could buy some books and supplies, so the parents aren’t increasingly having to cover the burden initially promised by a public school system (while, of course, their taxes keep going up).
Personally, I don’t mind paying taxes. I really don’t. And I look at some countries overseas that have higher tax rates than we do, and I wonder if we couldn’t have nationalized health care or some of those other things taxes can go to that make countries better places to live. And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else; I’m rather fond of my country, love it, actually. And I wouldn’t mind paying for a teapot museum if we already had a decent education system, a workable health care system, and a well-supplied and well-trained military. Then I guess, it’d be okay, if we had the extra money lying around. But even in our household budgets we don’t pay for vacations or luxuries before we’ve paid the mortgage and bought food. It just makes no sense to me. Really. None.
Okay, I confess, this vid has NOTHING to do with the above (unless there’s a shoe museum in the offing), but I had to post it for Snuggles and Mitch; it’s the U. S. version of Paolo Nutini’s “New Shoes” (didn’t know if you’d seen it, and think I prefer the U. K. version, but see for yourselves):