I know–what idiot complains when his tax return is too big? Don’t get me wrong–I’m really happy to be getting the money, and there are certainly many different ways I can use it. But where does that money come from? It doesn’t come from me. I’m very careful to have them withhold practically no federal taxes from my paycheck–I’m not fond of giving the government an interest free loan each year. But I get back what little I had taken out, and then much more on top of that.
I posted about this on my Facebook account, and several of my friends spoke up, detailing how they’re in a much different boat, tax-wise. They pay more than they get back, even though they’re not in that different of a boat than me. (Well . . . maybe. I’m in a family of four, with a single paycheck. Some of them are families of two with two paychecks. Come to think of it . . . that’s a very different situation.) Still. I don’t think it’s fair that I get a bunch of money from people who worked hard for it. I think the tax burden should be shouldered by all–not just the well off. We all live in this country, we all should pay for the privilege . . . Unless I know that my bags of money are coming from Paris Hilton. In which case, I’m fine with it.
What really gets me is that the tax code is so convoluted I needed to pay someone else to help me file. That’s money that could have gone to the poor and needy, not some accountant or faceless corporation. We have this inordinately difficult tax code, where all sorts of laws are made to levy taxes, and then additional laws are made to let people out of paying those taxes. It makes it impossible for a layperson like myself to be able to understand any of it, so there’s this industry built around it, to make lots of people money to do something that ought to be easy and straightforward.
If I knew that 10% or 15% of my paycheck was going to go to Uncle Sam, then I could count on that. At the end of the year, you add up everything you made, you subtract your expenses, and then you pay a flat tax on the result. No exemptions. Forget child credits or home mortgage waivers or whatever gobbledygook they have out there. Everybody pays it. If you only made $10 the whole year, the government gets $1 or $1.50. If you made $100 billion, it gets proportionately more. You’re not penalized for getting married, you’re not penalized for making more one year than another. Everybody pays.
Now I’m not saying we do away with the welfare system. That’s necessary and should still exist, but it should be separate from taxes. If you make any money and you’re on welfare, you still pay your taxes on that money–and then you end up getting more back in a separate paycheck to you from whatever agency doles that out. But do away with all this red tape. Streamline the whole process, and make it easy enough anyone can understand it and do it–at least for individuals.
Of course, I’m not an economist, and there are likely lots of things I’m oversimplifying here. Anyone care to set me straight? Please–discuss.