It’s that “most ‘wonderful’ time of year” where we get geared up for April 15th to file our taxes. Because who doesn’t love a burdensome regulatory system that has thousands of pages of tax code that’s next to impossible to follow, causes a lot of man-hours being used, or funding the oh-so-wonderful IRS that costs the taxpayers nearly $13 billion every year? You know you’re a public policy nerd when you take this time of the year to have fun debating things such as lack of oversight in the value-added tax, whether the carbon tax is a good way to cut back on carbon emissions, or what I would consider an “ideal tax rate.” I also take this as a moment to reflect on the idea of spending money and what one does with assets. Money might be the fruit of our labors, but the spending of our money is also a reflection of how we view the physical and spiritual world because money is not an ends unto itself, but rather a means to an end. How we go about income, consumption, investment, etc., brings me to this week’s Torah portion, Parsha Terumah.
דבר אל-בני ישראל, ויקחו-לי תרומה: מאת כל-איש אשר ידבנו לבו, תקחו את-תרומתי.
Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take my offering.