IBJOpinion

HETRICK: Mega Millions and taxes inspire daydream believers

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Bruce Hetrick

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,

Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee.

Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,

Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away.

—Stephen C. Foster, “Beautiful Dreamer,” 1865



Last week, the collegiate members of Alpha Chi Omega lost out big time. Had the stars been properly aligned, my wife Cheri, a would-be philanthropist (and Alpha Chi CEO), would have endowed the organization’s leadership-training program forever and ever.

Indiana University also suffered a loss—and I’m not talking basketball. Instead of selling me naming rights so the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Journalism could stand as tall as the Kelley, Jacobs, Maurer and McKinney schools, they’re stuck with a mere visiting professor who will work for benefits.

The Indiana Repertory Theatre took a tragic turn, too. Had all gone according to the script, Cheri and I would have doubled the theater’s endowment, ensuring insightful drama and uproarious comedy for generations to come.

But alas, things didn’t go as planned, so people most in need of human services will have to go on needing.

So will polar bears, whose lives are at risk in the unfrozen north.

Lonely dogs and cats, hoping to be adopted at the Humane Society, will have to whimper and mew a little longer.

Scientists and physicians seeking cures for cancer will have to continue on their distracting and never-ending quest for research funding.

President Obama, members of Congress and the Supreme Court will have to keep wrangling over who pays for health care.

Real estate agents from Asheville to Santa Fe, Jackson Hole to Grace Bay are stuck with pithy commissions from other customers.

And everyone up and down our family tree will have to carry on in their self-sufficient ways.

As the lead couple sings in “Rocky Horror Picture Show:” “Dammit, Janet.”

If only Cheri and I had won Mega Millions. If only we could have set ourselves up for life. If only we could have saved the world by giving some away.

If only.

But alas, it’s almost April 15, so a new delusion ensues.

In my mother’s great tradition, we will carry forth a dream in which all of our state and federal tax dollars go to those things that matter most to us and none of those things we deem offensive or wasteful.

Our donor-designated dream begins by dimming the lights and cuing up Woody Guthrie:

This land is your land, this land is my land,

From California to the New York Island,

From the Redwood Forest

To the Gulf Stream waters,

This land was made for you and me.

Now think Yellowstone and Yosemite. Denali and the Smokies. Glaciers in Montana. Volcanoes in Hawaii. The Rockies in Colorado. The sands of Cape Cod.

In our dreams, our tax dollars fund more and better national parks.

In our dreams, our tax dollars buy the best education system in the world— preschool to PhD—so that future generations of Americans can out-compete everyone (and support us in our nursing homes, too!)

In our dreams, our tax dollars support a health-care system available to and funded by all of us, because that is the fairest way to serve each of us.

In our dreams, our tax dollars buy good, safe, well-maintained transportation systems (not just cars and highways).

In our dreams, our tax dollars ensure cleaner air—indoors and out. As the American Lung Association says, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

In our dreams, our tax dollars protect and preserve the planet, for without it, we cannot sustain life.

In our dreams, our tax dollars keep us safe at home and abroad, but they’re not available for picking fights or exacting personal revenge.

In our dreams, our tax dollars help everyone—not just the rich—get richer.

In our dreams, our tax dollars support public policies that treat everyone equally without regard to race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, etc. In other words, our tax dollars make good on the Founding Fathers’ assertion that all of us are created equal.

In the midst of Mega Millions mania, statisticians were telling would-be bettors (including Cheri and me) that the odds of winning the big jackpot were far lower than the odds of being struck by lighting.

I suppose the odds of having our tax dollars allotted Burger King style (“Have it your way.”) are even worse.

But hey, a couple can dream.•

__________

Hetrick is an Indianapolis-based writer, speaker and public relations consultant. His column appears twice a month. He can be reached at bhetrick@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT