Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

April 15, 2013

The Taxpayer’s Blues

Them ides of April ain’t nothin’ but bad news,

Cause the man say I got to pay my dues.

How I’m gonna pay them, I have no clues,

I got them low-down Taxpayer Blues.

I beg the man for mercy, but he refuse and refuse

I’m at rock bottom, got no more to lose,

I got holes in my pockets and holes in my shoes.

I got them low-down Taxpayer Blues.

There’s one other option and the one that I choose,

I’ll curl up with The Little Woman and a 12 pack of brews,

And try to forget all my troubles in the glow of the booze.

I got them low-down, nasty, filthy, despicable, pond-scum

suckin’ Taxpayer Blues!

When we, the people, of the United States decided to band together to form a more perfect union, I bet nobody figured the union dues would be so high. We declared our freedom from unfair British taxation in 1776 — then, in 1777, we started our own system of unfair taxation. Now, some 236 years later, it is getting harder and harder to support the government in the style to which it has become accustomed.

I actually looked “damn” and “taxes” up in my Webster’s to assure myself that they are two separate words. Death and taxes may be inevitable, but at least death doesn’t repeat itself every year. Another old adage says, “You can’t take it with you.” I can’t even afford to go anywhere at this point.

The Little Woman (she prefers Tax Consultant) just finished this year’s joint return and I am about sick. There are some folks who think doing your own income tax return is like a do-it-yourself mugging but, I must say, she does a fine job for us. Also, she has a gentle way of presenting me with the bad news for signature, the writing of the check to the IRS, and the supervision of my post traumatic stress syndrome rehabilitation.

What really galls me is the term “tax returns” because we have not had anything returned to us for over a decade. I am proud to be an American taxpayer — the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money. I hear the joint return short-forms will be simplified down to three line items next year:

Line one, “How much money did you make this year?

Line two, “How much money do you have left?

Line three, “Send in the amount on Line Two.”

What really, really galls me is the fact that about 85 percent of our Social Security “benefits” become taxable income after TLW completes the sadistic IRS worksheet. That seems as wrong as two left shoes! After all these years of holding contributions by my employers and me in an interest-bearing account, they are now taxing me for using it in my old age.

What really, really, really galls me is the fact that TLW and I probably pay more tax, in proportion to our meager retirement income, than the nabobs, tycoons, industrialists, and financiers who pour millions into political action committees and lobbying enterprises.

They say George Washington never told a lie — but then again, he never had to fill out an IRS Form 1040. As much as it pains us, we do not fudge on our tax “returns.” The only lie I ever knowingly put on the form every year is when I list myself as “Head of Household.” I don’t think that statement requires any further comment — don’t you agree, Dear?

This rant reminds me of one time back in Denver, when a good friend of mine got one of those strongly worded “Second Notice” letters from the IRS which demanded payment of some overdue taxes. My buddy panicked and rushed down to the IRS office with checkbook in hand. He wrote the check for the overdue amount and, when he handed it in to the agent, he also apologized for missing the first notice. She smiled sweetly at him and said, “Oh we never send out first notices. We find that second notices are far more effective.”

See ya...

          —————

Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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