For some time now, I have had a feeling that there is "something rotten in the state of Denmark" in our taxing system.
The straw that broke this camel's back was the $31 fine charged to me by the Internal Revenue Service in April. I was puzzled; I had made sure that my tax forms were mailed before the deadline, I had signed the documents and my check accompanied it. What could I have been fined for?
I found out that I had failed to send in enough money each quarter for my estimated tax. I may be wrong, but I believe that when this program began, the idea was to voluntarily send in an amount to be decided by the taxpayer each quarter, so that at the end of the year, we wouldn't have to mortgage the family farm to pay our taxes. This was a program to "help" us manage our finances.
Now, all of a sudden, I find out I should have sent in enough so that at the end of the year I had little or no taxes to pay. I am waiting for the next shoe to fall. We will be required to pay all of next year's tax a year ahead of time.
As another way to "help" us, Al Gore keeps saying that if he was our president, he would "allow" us to keep some of our Social Security tax money to invest in whatever we want to earn interest to save for our old age. Then talk went around that maybe the government had better keep the money back and invest it for us, since some people might spend the money on a cruise to the Bahamas instead of investing it, or that they might make unwise investments and lose that money.
This all leads me to believe that once the government gets its foot in the door by sugaring the pill, it quietly takes more and more of our hard-earned cash to spend on more programs to "help" us, ad infinitum. We sheep are led to believe these programs are good for us, so we vote these guys back into office.
Another thing that puzzled me was the announcement that Social Security was going broke. Remember when the government removed this money from what should have been a trust fund and put it into the general fund? No wonder Social Security was going broke; that money was long gone for other programs. Then suddenly a huge surplus is found, and they are all scurrying around trying to decide how to spend the surplus. If an insurance company had done this, their books would have been audited and the officials would now be languishing in jail.
I don't know the answer to the dilemma we find ourselves in with this runaway government. Should we all go on strike next April and refuse to pay our taxes until there is an audit of all their books? Should we all march on Washington and demand that they pay Social Security back with interest and immediately lower our taxes so we won't have a surplus to worry about?
If it is one or both, I will gladly join in. I'll hold back the little pittance I donate every April, or join in the march on Washington. Even if I have to rent a fast wheelchair, I'll be there at the head of the parade.
I do know that if I were the next president, I would draw a big double line under both the debits and credits, and start up with all new accounts. I would also close out a lot of programs that end up being a burden instead of help for all us poor dumb sheep.
I apologize to all our young people, including my children, grandchildren, great- and great- great-grandchildren, for leaving this mess for you to deal with.
As for me, I feel like taking that cruise to the Bahamas, back and forth, for a long time.