Sunday, May 22, 2016

One For You, Nineteen For Me

The Tax Collector
Nikolay Vasil'yevich Orlov
Now let me state right up front, I don't mind paying my fair share. Roads cost money, airports cost money. As I use those, I don't mind paying for them.

I was in the military for 24 years, the taxpayers of this fine nation paid me, fed me, trained me, clothed me, and housed me. All three kids either served or are still serving. That's part of our tax dollars at work.

Yes, our tax dollars, I did have to pay taxes while on active duty, kind of an odd situation that...

"Sarge, here's your pay."

"Why thankee Uncle Sam."

"Now give me some of it back."

"Um, sure, okay..."

I've had that explained to me, I've explained it to my troops. It all comes out in the wash.

So I'm told.

But there is a lot of abuse, fraud, and downright thievery in the tax system. Seems pretty stupid to write the tax code such that one needs a lawyer and an accountant to figure it all out. Thank the good Lord that the people who wrote the tax code didn't write the Constitution.

Though apparently the government thinks you need a lawyer to understand the Constitution. Well, maybe the Congress critters do but...

Hey, wait a minute. Aren't they mostly lawyers themselves? (At least now we know where the bottom third of law school graduates find jobs.)

Anyhoo, found the following out on the Tube O' You. Thought it humorous in a sick sort of way. So I share it here.

It's what I do.

I share.

Absolutely brilliant, neh?

And a cover of the original, just in case you're a young'un for whom all this was before your time. It's a cover because the copyright demons have swept the Interwebz free of the original by The Beatles. You should go out and purchase a copy of their Revolver album. Arguably The Beatles' best album, if not the best album of anybody's ever. Revolutionized music it did. IMHO. (And this is a pretty fine cover of that tune.)

Yup, taxes. A necessary evil.

Nonetheless, evil.



  1. It's a lot easier when you think of taxes in terms of responsibility rather than burden. And the progressive term "fair" should never enter into the equation.

    Also, nearly all of federal spending has become automatic and untouchable, yet most of that spending goes to things the federal gubmint should have nothing to do with. Airports. We don't need a state airline, which is what we have, even though all the hairpanes are different colors. Skules. We don't need a federal school system. They've destroyed what we once had. When it comes to federal edumacation spending, it's 1 for the kids and 49 for the gubmint workers. Which allows them to work far less and retire at 50 on full pay and bennies, while not really working from age 30-50 anyway. Since 1972 the knowledge learned by students has shrunk, while the staffs have exploded with full-time, overpaid professional victims. Take my skule for instance. One-third as many students as when I gradumated, more than three times the staff and nearly five times the budget in adjusted dollars. The kids are no different, but they're getting taught nothing but ideology and test preparation. In my book that's fornicating child abuse.

    How did people survive without the federal government running everything?

    When looked at from the perspective of the responsibility of the sovereign citizen, it's pretty clear that we're gonna need an r-word adjustment.

    1. Well, all the tax revenue doesn't go into the Federal coffers. There is a great deal of local and state taxation with which I have issues. Like the excise tax on my vehicle, like the ever increasing property tax to support an ever increasing staff at the schools. (Doesn't anyone actually teach anymore. Probably okay, seems they all stopped thinking some time ago.)

      R-word adjustment, sigh, you may be right.

    2. I'm pretty sure we can hold the SCOTUS at least partly responsible for some of the business the feds now handle, which our founders did not originally intend. or they'd've put it the Constitution.
      What's happened to the schools is atrocious.

      How state and local tax monies are spent isn't helped at all by mandates from on high that require certain expenditures in order to receive certain other funds.
      Federal grants should be called carrots.

    3. Then there's what they've done with the Post Office.

    4. Federal grants = carrots.

      Too true.

    5. Remember when the Post Office was respected and reliable?

    6. Prairie, I have to agree and disagree. Yes, it's a duty and a responsibility that we all share in paying for what we get from the government, but fairness HAS TO be part of the equation. Let's not forget that the middle class and poor lose a huge part of their discretionary income because of taxes, while the upper class does not.

      For example, if (for argument's sake and to make the math easy) you need $100K annual income to live comfortably and you're paying $20K in taxes plus $75K on necessities, you have $5K in disposable income. That's OK, but a bout with cancer, a serious injury, or losing your job will eat up that $5K quicker than you can say, "Oh, crap!" Now apply that 20% tax rate to somebody making $500K, and you have $405K left over, a much bigger cushion in case of emergencies.

      Also, the rich have lots of ways to shelter their taxes that the middle- and lower-class just can't use. I don't blame them for that: I consider it ethical and good sense if they use LEGAL ways to do it (offshore tax havens--not so much). I myself take a deduction on interest payments on my home equity loan. But when the law lets millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than a guy making $100K, or lets me pay at a lower rate than a guy making $50K, there's definitely something wrong.

      Finally, notice that the guy making $500K is paying $8000 a year toward social security (because SS caps out for income over $118.500). That's almost the same as the $7650 that the guy making $100K is paying. The $100K guy's paying the full 7.65% rate, while $500K guy's only paying an overall 1.6% rate for SS. That puts the tax burden more heavily on $100K guy, even though both are equally eligible for SS income.

      You can argue $500K guy won't need Social Security, but history is full of celebrities and multi-millionaires who ended up broke: Edgar Allan Poe, songwriter Stephen Foster ("Oh! Susanna," "Camptown Races"), Johnny Unitas, Judy Garland, Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, Clint Murchison, Jr. (former Dallas Cowboys owner), Sean Quinn (in 2008 the richest man in Ireland), and on and on. Even Willy Nelson was in deep kimchi for a while, although he seems to have recovered.

      So, yeah, Prairie, fairness IS an issue. Don't forget that the best years for the American family were in the 1950s and 1960s, when the top marginal income tax rate much of that time was 90%. That's right, if you earned $100 million bucks, you should have been getting "only" $10 million. Unfair! Of course, nobody paid that much, because the tax dodges were around then, too, but the potential was there. And I'm not saying to go back to those rates, but with today's top rate of 40% there's no reason for anybody at those levels to complain.

      And, by the way, Sarge, I thought that video was hilarious.

    7. Ah, crap, I thought I changed that. The disposable income for $500K guy should be $325K ($500K minus $100K taxes minus $75K cost of living), not $405K.

    8. Yes, I was going to chastise you for the math. Then saw the follow-on comment.


    9. That video is a hoot, isn't it?

  2. Yes, Sarge, I agree that this is probably the Beatles' finest album, unlike some later crap that they released that is touted to be the greatest album of all time. If anyone, but the Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's" it would have been universally panned as pure drivel. IMHO, the greatest album of all time is The Stooges' eponymous album. The songs "1969" and "I Wanna Be Your Dog". Pure genius. Saved my pennies to go out and buy it...................

    1. Why is it that I have never heard The Stooges before? I fear my education has been sadly lacking.

      Not bad, not bad at all.

    2. Sgt. Pepper IS pure drivel, and I like the album, I just don't think it's more than a bunch of pleasant dittys.

    3. And I was kidding about the Stooges being the greatest album of all time, but it is still one of my favorites................

  3. It's not the paying I dislike, it's the waste requiring me to pay even more that ticks me off.

  4. Like Stevie Ray Vaughn's version better.

    All the Federal payroll taxes collected just about pays the interest on the Federal debt.

    1. Nice version that, never heard it before.

      Oh yes, let's let them borrow more money. They should ALL be fired, yours, mine, theirs, all of 'em!

    2. Sarge is sadly lacking in his music education....................


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