How Much is Too Much?
I’m sad to admit that I got a refund this year. It was big enough that I actually got upset. Why? Because the government had my money for all that time. Let’s be clear. The money I got back was far dwarfed by the taxes I owed, and I just got the overage that I paid. Since I don’t have kids, it’s not that I’m taking massive deductions or anything. I put in a minimum, give away a lot of money, lose more on our small business as it ramps up, and then I spend my and my tax guy’s time telling the government to give me my money back.
The state gets a piece of me, as well as the feds. To some point, I’m fine with paying for common programs like roads and services. I often go out of my way to donate to charities that don’t get (especially if they don’t ask for) government assistance. So I’ll willfully give money to places that need it. And if some of that goes through the government, well, then I’d just like some accountability on how it’s managed and spent in all links of the chain.
Of course, you see articles like this:
Almost nobody likes tax day, but people may look back nostalgically on tax day 2010 and those of earlier years because, almost certainly, taxes are going up in the future, and they may go up a lot. With hindsight, tax day 2010 may seem almost dreamy.
As almost everyone knows, the huge baby-boom generation is edging—or collapsing—into retirement. Its first members, born in 1946, turn 65 in 2011, when they will qualify for Medicare. Some have already taken Social Security as early as 62 at a reduced rate. Boomers collecting benefits, combined with uncontrolled health costs, are the underlying engine for rising federal spending and endless budget deficits.To which there’s at least one obvious solution: raise taxes…
As Lucy van Pelt would say: AAAAAIIIIUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!
Tax Day isn’t very fun, is it? I mean, we all want to pay taxes, or at least don’t mind doing so — price of civilization and all. But we do mind when we think the taxes are too high and too numerous; when we think that they’re onerous and counterproductive. That is the way many of us feel right now. I don’t speak only of federal taxes, but of state and city taxes as well. They keep coming and coming . . .
And they do. Every year, I pay more taxes, and every year I see more taxes heaped on me, and evey year I see the potential for more things I’ll have to pay in the future. Will I ever see the Social Security money I’ve contributed? I really don’t know, but I don’t think so. Will my Roth contributions really be tax free? I’m betting no, as they’ll need more money from somewhere.
So this is why I’m interested in how others are thinking. This is why I went to the first Tea Party last year in a fit of semi-journalistic curiosity and saw ordinary people who were as frustrated as I was. This is why I keep going back, and keep wondering if we’ll be heard.
It’s a sunny day in Oregon, at least for now. It’s probably raining in other places. It might be snowing somewhere. Still, people will come. People will gather to ask the same questions.
How much is too much? How much longer? When will they hear us?
I wonder if those in political power realize that we want answers. Now.