Now that the snow's melted, we can turn our attention to spring and the April duty that most of us dread, paying taxes.
I'm reminded of the debate that raged during the presidential campaign about whether tossing our dollars into collective pots (state, local and national) was an act of patriotism or aiding wasteful government folly. The truth about taxes is probably somewhere in between, the ground occupied by regulatory agencies, parking-enforcement personnel and sometimes police (admit it, you complained that the officer surely had something better to do when he wrote you that speeding ticket). The IRS belongs to the realm of necessary evils, those institutions we might not especially like but would like less to live without.
If you equate paying taxes with patriotism, thanks for performing your civic responsibility. If you don't, actively hold your elected officials responsible for how your money is spent. Simply grumbling about having to pay contributes little to the public good.