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Chery; Hughes: Taxing

Every spring since 2016, I have grieved the fact that Mike Huckabee did not become a presidential candidate, and subsequently did not become president of the United States.  I grieve this fact each spring while I am drowning in stacks of bank statements, credit card statements, 1099 forms and receipts from various retail establishments that I am logging into an Excel program on my computer, to be printed out upon completion, then handed to our CPA for tax purposes.  I grieve the fact that Mr. Huckabee did not become our 45th president, because he vowed to do away with income tax.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe I need to pay my fair share of taxes, it’s just that I wish it was a set amount, not something that has to be logged, deducted, calculated, then worried over.  Each new year, I tell myself I’m going to start earlier or I’m going to start in January, logging each month’s deductions as they occur for the following year’s tax season.  Since January happens right after Christmas, and I’m in a sugar stupor till mid-month, plus all the cleanup that has to be done after the holidays, it just doesn’t happen in January.  Along comes February with the Super Bowl and Valentines Day, and we certainly cannot forget Daylight Saving Time and St. Patrick’s Day in March, so here we are at the threshold of tax season.  You get what’s going on, don’t you?  I will use any tactic at my disposal to put off sitting myself down at a table and working on taxes.  This year, I was tempted to observe Ramadan, which started on March 10th and Canberra Day which occurs in Australia on March 11th, but I realized that might be a bit over the top, so here I sit, logging and calculating.

Garey reminds me that we should be thankful that we own our home and farm, and that we have made some wise investments.  I am, but it’s like Solomon said, “As goods increase, so do those who consume them.” After filling in twelve columns of deductions—money we’ve had to spend to keep this circus going—I am painfully aware that Solomon was right.  

We, in the US, aren’t the only ones who grieve over taxes.  The Beatles song, “Tax Man” gives some insight into how the Brits feel about the subject.  My favorite verse goes like this:

I’m the tax man

I’ll tax the street

If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat

If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat

If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

Cause I’m the tax man   (George Harrison, Harrisogs Ltd.)

During the early days of this country, the battle cry from the early colonists was, “Taxation without representation!”  They fought and won the right to be represented, so now we have taxation with representation.  I’m not so sure how much of an improvement that was, albeit we can show up at county meetings and voice opposition to a hike in property taxes, or we can contact our state and federal representatives about rate increases to our income taxes.  Many times, our voices seem to fall on deaf ears, and it feels like we’ve come full circle back to “Taxation without representation.”

Garey’s sister, Charlotte is convinced that her specific tax contributions are going to pay for senators’ vacations in the Bahamas or to support some worthless person, who is fully capable of working or—and this is the big one—to fund programs for immigrants.  I like to think my tax dollars are going to build roads and feed hungry children.

The bottom line is we can’t be sure where our specific dollars go, and all the complaining in the world won’t change it.  The powers that be will continue to tax our street, our seat, our heat and our feet, cause they’re the tax man.


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