Rant: A Taxing Issue

I know that the entire month of April will more than likely have WordPress completely clogged with all sorts of blog posts about taxes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Frankly I’m curious to see the ones in the poetry, photo-essay, and porn categories that intersect the ‘tax’ topic. The obvious spoiler alert here is that this might just piss off the neighbors a bit…

Before I get too ranty, I’ll also state for the record that I don’t mind paying taxes that much – with a key qualification or two later – because I’m at least smart enough to realize that freedom isn’t free, and nobody’s going to work at running the government on a charity basis. I’ll also admit up front that my normal annual bloodletting is a drill where I show up with a folder of paperwork, fill out a form or two, and hand it over to the wicked smart guy at the military tax center. One week later, everyone signs, and then even later – normally – a check arrives. Not too painful, and the whole figuring and filing is free.

What set me the fuck off was a news article I read stating that the top ten-percent earners in America provide the IRS with 70% of its revenue. Additionally, the bottom 50% earners account for a full 3%. To make it even sweeter, the piece outlined the tax credits and pointed out the fact that some folks don’t pay any taxes at all, but instead receive a check. Admittedly, I did not confirm these figures closely, but if they’re moderately correct (the old saw about lies and statistics in mind), where in the fuck-all do certain politicians get off talking about people paying a “fair share?”

Most disturbing is the suggestion that about 70% of taxpayers actually remove more than they put in. Wow. This is the ponzi scheme that pays my salary. I feel kind of dirty. But really, it gets a bit deeper than that. I said I don’t mind paying taxes, but if you really think about this, I’m paying myself in part every year. Think about it: I’m a federal employee, so my pay comes straight to me (with some detours) from the Treasury. So the Army hands me a dollar, I hand back about thirty cents. They give it back to me next year. I will say ‘thank you’ to all of you non-Federal folks out there who beef up that $.30 to another full dollar every next year, though. I do appreciate it.

What really chaps my nuts is the fact that I still have to put into Social Security and I’ll be taxed again on that when I eventually draw it. Wasn’t it already taxed? Capital gains I’m down with – that’s the price of making money and compounding interest beats the marginal tax rate most of the time with careful investment choices. But double-paying on my income? Not so much. Lots of rash-generation going on here.

Call me crazy. What about a flat tax system doesn’t work? Much of this leaves me scratching my bald head.

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18 Responses to “Rant: A Taxing Issue”

  1. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    aww…I love the IRS…I get searches for people asking, “When is my tax refund coming?”…I want to find them and reply, “Never….” (just outta pure meaness)

  2. In England they are now sending us pie charts showing were our tax money goes, like 12% education, 33% NHS, you get the drift, as if it is going to make you feel happy about it ahaha ohh the government.

  3. Yeah, I like the idea of a flat tax % of income too.
    I also have them pull out a bit more every check just so I don;t have to go into my pocket at the end of the year…

  4. The tax code is convoluted and needs reform, but statistics can be used to the advantage of either side. Many in the 1% of top earners pay less than 15% of their income because their income is not from salaries but from dividends, interest and capital gains. Long term capital gains are taxed at 15%. Qualified dividends and certain interest are also subject to special rates. Taking advantage of deductions for mortgage interest, children, etc can reduce that rate even more. Many in the bottom pay little or nothing because their income less deductions for children, medical costs, mortgage interest total more than their adjusted gross incomes. However, the reason the upper 1% contribute so much is not because their rates are necessarily higher but that their incomes are so large. An income of 5 million dollars (assuming no deductions) taxed at 15% equals $750,000 while an income of $50,000 (assuming no deductions) taxed at 25% yields $12,500. As to social security benefits, if your income is low which is the case for many recipients, the benefits are not taxed. It is a sliding scale based on income that determines if the benefits are taxed. Though I agree that those benefits should not be taxed at all. On a more humorous note I can’t decide if I am in the top 1% because all of my income last year was from dividends and capital gains or the bottom 1% because my total income was $5900. My Daddy always said there are worse things than paying taxes. He was right – having very little income is one of those things. I’d much rather be paying what I used to pay in taxes when I was a member of that elite group known as “the employed.”

  5. I don’t mind taxes either. we always get a return because we claim zero. rather pay it on the front end and receive a check in the spring! i personally would be all for a one year extra 20 bucks out of everyone’s paycheck to help balance some budgets (with that being said, I can afford 20 dollars being taken each month)

  6. Without taxes the infrastructure of the global…wait…what? Did you say WordPress has porn bloggers?

  7. Taxes and Porn . . . don’t add up. 😉

    I still have to prepare and file my return. I do NOT want to. I’m dragging my heels. I’m procrastinating.

    When I finish my taxes . . . I will celebrate. With chocoate.

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