Hi Joe: Thanks for reading the piece and for the thoughtful response to it. First of all, I did not mean for it to be a post about politics at all. As you yourself said (as a conservative):

"Does it feel good to pay taxes for the proper, rationally moral functions of government like defense (let's assume for a second there is no waste,) police, courts etc? Sure, I suppose so."

The "Why" behind that "sure, I suppose so" is that I was interested in understanding in this post.

Now going to your comment "Voluntary charity on the other hand is moral and a far more efficient way of helping people."

Again, there is some political thinking in this comment and I don't necessarily want to get into it. What I do want to point out is that many charities are equally, if not more wasteful, in how they use the resources that people have donated to them. For example, see this: http://www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities/

So while the impulse to give to charity may be moral and noble, often times the consequences may not match that impulse. That is the point I was trying to make.

Paying my taxes is based on a similar impulse to giving to charity. I do agree with you though that we have a lot more control over carefully choosing which charities we give to, and contributing to causes that matter to us. We have no such choice when paying taxes and no say in how our contribution gets used.