Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taxation Vexation

As one of the millions of self-employed, I dread taxes. We not only have to pay what the rest of the suffering masses do, but we also get slammed with the self-employment tax. Not being a financial whiz like Little Timmy Geithner, I don't have the privilege of "forgetting" that one. In fact, contrary to the claims of the now Treasury Secretary, Turbo-Tax repeatedly asks and reminds me about it.

So I did the government's bookkeeping and wrote a ludicrously large check (as compared to my recession hammered income) to Uncle Sam and sent it off. Like most taxpayers, I am not too happy about it. Of course, that is the half of us that actually pay taxes.

While reviewing the forms, I caught the news story about Exxon not paying any US taxes. I suppose I should be upset, but I assume Exxon is operating within the law. Needless to say, politicians are having a field day with this one. The same corrupt gang that wrote this obscenely convoluted tax code that allows Exxon to skate while requiring me to pay. So, I am not upset at Exxon. Nor any of the others that will not have to fork over a dime this year.

I am, however angry at those loons in Congress who set the table for the annual tax "roast and then claim to be upset about it." The same members of Congress that give themselves special deductions.

All of this got me to thinking what it is I don't mind paying for and what I do mind paying for. Here they are:

What I don't mind paying for:
National Defense
Law Enforcement (including jails)
Education (although the overblown costs for this are just disgusting)
Roads/Transportation (but not airports - they need to be privatized)
Consumer Protection (as in drug approvals and product regulation)
Arts and Humanities (seriously, I have no issue with this one)
A Safety Net (for the least fortunate who really do have nothing)
Pure Scientific Research
Parks and Forests

What I mind paying for and would rather not:
"Wellness" Programs
College Loans
Union Anything
Congressional Perks and Salaries
Postal Service (let them go private and duke it out in the free market)
AmTrak (Make them private)
Airline Protectionism
Hospitals (privatize)
Airports (again - privatize)
Sports Stadiums and Arenas
Pension Guarantees
The Federal Reserve (all of it - wasting my money)
Subsidies to private companies for anything
Cell Phones for all but the highest ranking officials

I am sure there are more for both lists, but I think this makes my point. We are paying for literally everything now from wooden arrows to private sector research projects. Not on either list are those things we get from government, but pay a direct fee for like trash pickup and water service.

What it boils down to is that we - the taxpayers - are pretty much required to foot the bill for stuff that we cannot ourselves afford and that we do not want. While we must pay our taxes (unless one is a government bigwig), we do retain the power to toss these free spending clowns out. And I do mean both parties. The GOP abandoned their fiscal conservatism for a decade and made a huge mess. Democrats took over promising to clean it up. What they really did was cover it with a blanket of fresh money. Our money.

Come November, tell them goodbye at the ballot box. Like any functioning company, we should fire the non-productive workers and replace them. And nowhere is less productive than Congress.

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