Random Thoughts on Our Tax System
By now, it’s a truism that our tax system is too complicated, and our taxes are too high. Of course, as it is Spring, most of us focus upon state and federal income taxes.
Let us focus, then, on a few brief points about our wonderful system by which the federal government bleeds us of 24% of our national income.
First, let’s consider the Marriage Tax. This is the penalty in additional taxes that many us pay because we choose to get married, rather than just shacking up. Just for grins, after I filed my federal income tax, I figured out the Young family marriage penalty for 1998, the depressing amount of approximately $2000.
Anyone out there still fantasize that our tax system isn’t “anti-family”?
Well, wait one minute. The marriage penalty was abolished by the Bush tax cuts in the first term of the Bush Administration. But don't get too used to that long-needed and sensible reform. It's coming back if Democrats in Congress have their way, as it is scheduled to expire in just a few years. It's hardly surprising that a political party that has "gone Brokeback" and doesn't even understand the word "marriage" would penalize its practitioners.
Next, let’s consider wage withholding. Wage withholding is the date rape drug of the tax system, in the words of a Libertarian group on Michigan. Understanding that something never seen is rarely missed, the Federal government started in World War II to require employers to withhold a certain amount of our income from each paycheck, so that we never see the money. Some are so taken in by this fraud that they look forward to 15 April as the day when they receive a windfall, rather than recover (interest-free) the loan they’ve made to the federal government.
Thus, much like the effects of the date-rape drug, we don’t notice how much we’ve been scr..., er, victimized.
Labels: Money, Taxes
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