Arghhh! It just happened again. No, I’m not referring to the billions of dollars hard-working taxpayers will have to send to Uncle Sam by April 17. (We get an extra two days to file a return this year, thanks to the 15th falling on a Sunday and the 16th being a holiday in Washington.)
What gets my goat is when someone — especially a near and dear family member — celebrates receiving a tax refund. People act as though it’s manna from heaven. They rejoice in their totally unexpected bounty from a beneficent government.
I try to explain that the Internal Revenue Service really isn’t doing them a favor and that, in fact, the opposite is true. I tell them that by overpaying their taxes during the past year, they have in effect been giving a profligate and wasteful government an interest-free loan. When I say that, they look at me as through I’ve suddenly sprouted two heads.
They are utterly perplexed by my suggestions: They should not celebrate their tax refund, and they should do everything they can to keep as much of their money for as long as they can while working to put Big Government on a starvation diet.
The most common reaction I get to this diatribe is, “Huh?” Then they quickly change the subject.
So there will be no lengthy lecture from me this week about how a progressive income tax was an essential part of the Communist Manifesto, no rant about the conspiratorial origins of the Federal Reserve and no diatribe on the diabolical cunning of a withholding tax that renders the shark-like bite of Uncle Sam less painful than a mosquito’s nibble. No, I’ll just repeat my opening sentiment: Arghhh!
And I will share this poem by an unknown author to remind us why we can be glad that, by this time next week, Tax Day will be behind us again.
Tax his land, tax his bed,
Tax the table at which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirt,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink.
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beers,
If he cries, then tax his tears.
Tax his car, tax his gas,
Find other ways to tax his a**.
Tax all he has, then let him know
That you won’t be done till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers,
Tax him some more.
Tax him ’till he’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave.
Tax the sod in which he’s laid.
Put these words upon his tomb,
“Taxes drove me to my doom.”
When he’s gone, do not relax.
It’s time to apply the inheritance tax.
Tax Freedom Day
By a strange coincidence, Tax Freedom Day arrives this year on the same day that Uncle Sam demands our tax return be sent to the IRS.
The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group founded 75 years ago, says the average American will work 107 days this year to pay the tab for all of his Federal, State and local taxes. According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will spend more in taxes in 2012 than the total amount spent on food, clothing and shelter.
If you’re a glutton for punishment, here’s a breakdown of the Federal tab: The average American will work 32 days this year to pay income taxes, 23 days to pay social insurance taxes, nine days to pay corporate taxes, two days to pay sales and excise taxes, and three days to pay all other Federal taxes.
He’ll also work eight days to pay State and local income taxes, 12 days for property taxes, 12 for State sales and excise taxes, and four days for other State and local taxes.
Add it all up, and it means we all work from Jan. 1 until April 17 to pay our taxes. But it could be a lot worse. According to the Tax Foundation, if the Federal government raised enough taxes to close the budget deficit, Tax Freedom Day would not arrive until May 14. That means that an additional 27 days of government spending is paid for by borrowing — and passing the bill on to our children and grandchildren.
So I’m very happy to report that a lot of Americans are taking the opportunity this tax season to tell their elected officials that they’re TEA’d off. That is, that they’re “Taxed Enough Already.”
Good for them! May their numbers multiply. And may more politicians in Washington and in State capitols start to listen to them.
Despite the demagogic cry that the “rich” need to pay “their fair share,” the truth is that the top 5 percent of U.S. taxpayers already pay about 60 percent of U.S. income taxes while the bottom 40 percent pay no income taxes at all. When President Barack Obama talks about “lowering” taxes, what he really means is he’s going to take more money from those who earn it and give it to those who don’t. This is not a “tax reduction.” It is a blatant example of a Marxist redistribution of wealth.
At the same time he’s promising more giveaways to the poor, Obama wants to raise the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent and slap anyone earning a million bucks or more with the “Buffett Rule.” Plus, he intends to reduce the deduction the so-called rich can take on their charitable contributions, mortgage interest and other taxes they pay.
What can you do about it? If you’re sick and tired of Big Government getting bigger and more bloated, I hope you’ll attend one of the Tea Party protests near you. It will be an opportunity to meet with a bunch of other folks who feel exactly as you do.
By the way, if you do go, pay close attention to which of your elected officials also attend and which ones wouldn’t come within a mile of the place. That will give you a very good idea of who deserves your support and who doesn’t in November.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.