Monday, September 10, 2007

Introduction to Tax

If you want to kill the mood at a gathering, just start talking about taxes. With this introduction to tax, hopefully you will see why it is not the beast it seems.

Introduction to Tax

Okay, I will admit it. I hate paying taxes just like you. Yes, it is just as frustrating and hard for me as it is for you. I groan. I get that pain in my sinuses. My eyes get dry and, yes, I occasionally create a new cuss word or two…or three. There is no escape for any of us.
When writing an introduction to tax, one is tempted to just complain endlessly. After all, it was President Jimmy Carter who said the U.S. tax system is a crime against humanity. While I tend to agree, the notion of paying taxes is not the total thievery it seems. At a basic level, we need to pay taxes.

In an ideal world, our taxes pay for things we need even if we don’t always recognize them. When you drive from here to there, you are driving on roads paid for by your taxes. Your toilet flushes because you pay taxes, and we all know how important that is. You, me and every American gets a basic education because we pay taxes. When our country is threatened, our taxes pay for a military to protect us. Given the mess in Iraq, you might feel differently about that last statement, but it was certainly true in both World Wars.

The point I am trying to make is our tax payments provide us with many basic services we need. Could they be privatized? Yes, but I am not sure I want a large corporation dictating how, when and how much it will cost my toilet to flush. In some areas, I personally feel we are better off with the government running things. You may feel differently, but that is the joy of being American. We get to form our own views and then be stubborn about changing them!

One area where we both can agree tax is evil has to do with pork. Pork is simply a term used to describe government programs that are not particularly necessary, but which Congress still spends tons of money on. These programs usual call for millions to be spent in a particular state for a particular thing. We read about them on the news or net and scream in outrage. But are we really outraged?

The funny thing about pork is it is outrageous if it sends money to an area other than our own. When one of our representatives, however, gets funding for a large project in our area, you will rarely hear a peep from us. The simple fact is most people view pork as a waste or our money unless we are getting it back. In our way of democracy, this is often how our representatives make sure they get another term. If we really felt differently, wouldn’t we vote them out of office? Doesn’t seem to happen all that much, does it?

This introduction to tax is not intended to make you smile when sending in your next check. It is merely intended to shine a slightly different light on the process that might make you think twice next time you are sitting on the toilet reading tax form 137289B, subsection d1, line 83a, paragraph 9f. Then again, it may n

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