Giving Thanks

This tax season, I’m reminded yet again of how good the federal government is to me. For a modest $150 TurboTax fee and hours of my spare time, I have the ability to file a request for a tiny portion of my own money to be returned to me in six months. If I’m lucky!

How beneficent a government that allows me to reclaim (some) of the fruits of my own labor. After all, income, savings, stocks, and all other capital is rightfully owned by politicians. I have no moral or logical claim to any of it.

Thank goodness that the government holds onto all of my funds (which are ultimately theirs) until deciding how much allowance they will give back to me. An institution with such a sterling reputation for fiscal responsibility knows how to use my capital better than I do.

Luckily for me, for example, the government withholds a large percentage of my income to eventually give me Social Security benefits that I am certain to receive in old age. Thankfully, they keep much of my money to support the thriving public schools. What would I do if not provided the safety net established by the invasion of a remote non-sovereign state?

If anything, I’m not taxed enough! The government only taxes money that I spend (sales tax), earn (income tax), invest (capital gains), or do nothing with (implied taxation through weakening of the dollar).

Sometimes I’m tempted to think that the following real life scenario is unfair: My employer paid a corporate tax on $500 before giving it to me. I then paid income tax on that money, before paying capital gains tax on the pennies of interest it accrued me in a savings account. I took the remaining dollars and purchased stock in a natural gas company, which was then taxed on the income it received from my shares. When those shares yielded me a 40-cent dividend, those were taxed. And when my few hundred dollars of stock yielded me a profit of fifty dollars, that profit was taxed again.

Alas, I don’t pay my fair share. Like Warren Buffet, I agree that many of us should have to pay more, and I think the government should use coercion in order to make them to agree with me! (Why would I solve this personal moral crisis by simply donating my own money, willingly, to the federal government?) Tax season really reminds me what an equitable and kind government we live under.

Tax season? Nay…that sounds so negative. Henceforth, I declare the middle of April to be Thanksgiving, II!

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