Happy Tax Day!

Wednesday, April 15, AD 2015

“This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher.”(when asked about completing his income tax form)”  

Albert Einstein



Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once opined that taxes are the price we pay for civilization.  As usual Holmes was being more glib than wise.  Some taxation is needed for civilization;  taxation that becomes oppressive is usually a sign of a civilization in decline.  In the beginning most taxes are instituted for some more or less necessary purpose, at least that is what is claimed.  Over time they simply exist to feed an ever growing government.  Unlike most associations we develop in our lives, government is completely involuntary and always has compulsion at its beck and call to ensure compliance.  It is all too easy over time for government to simply become a mechanism to transfer funds to favored political groups.  Until governments master this technique usually they stay small simply because taxpayers hate paying taxes.  This taxpayer resistance is overcome when government is able to claim the allegiance of large groups that view themselves as net beneficiaries from taxation.   When sufficient funds are not available, governments simply wish them into being through borrowing and the printing press.  The best argument against big government is to closely watch how the funds taken and manufactured are used by the government each fiscal year.  63 % of the federal budget consists of transfer payments from collective Peters to collective Pauls.  Christ noted that we should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar.  It is instructive that He never breathed a word about the care of the poor being a responsibility of Caesar, instead making it the duty of each of His followers.  Relying upon Caesar to do this task is rather like using an army to provide day care services.  Thus we have the modern welfare states that attempt at great cost to do what people should do for themselves or what should be the province of private charity.  Government thus becomes ever larger and eventually begins to kill its host, the private sector.  So here is to Tax Day, that monument to human hubris, chicanery and avarice! 

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10 Responses to Happy Tax Day!

  • Bigger government…smaller lives.
    Unless your in the government!

    I agree with all of your wisdom Mr. McClarey. Especially; “When sufficient funds are not available, governments simply wish them into being through borrowing and the printing press.”

    Hyper inflation on the forecast?

    You can only devalue the dollar for so long. Who cares if the nation has a hundred billionaire’s…if the cost of a loaf of bread is $1,500. Oh…the billionaires don’t mind. They make the bread.

    “Taxation that becomes oppressive is usually a sign of a civilization in decline.”

  • Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once opined that taxes are the price we pay for civilization. As usual Holmes was being more glib than wise

    Oh, I think it can be saved!
    Sure, it’s more a matter of interpreting sense into it than getting sense out, but… if you read it as the form of taxes reflecting the form of gov’t, then it kind of works. A gov’t that targets isolated groups of unpopular and punishes then greatly via direct taxes to give goodies to the loudest while simultaneously taking massive amounts from those getting “goodies” in ways that they don’t notice (an exaggeration of our current system) is going to reflect a specific type of civilization, after all….

  • This got posted over at Creative Minority Report in a knocked down, dragged out exchange, i will not call it a conversation, amongst some atheists, about Ted Cruz.
    Sixty million sovereign souls are being scraped from the womb and
    “Return to Sender”, “their Creator” is being stamped on them by their procreators.
    Jesus Christ has a rational soul. Man, being created in the image of God, has an immortal, rational soul. The devil has no soul. The devil is a person who is a pure spirit with no soul. The devils, like the angels, are pure spirits, except that the devil is a perfectly evil spirit, with no soul. Man on the other hand cannot be perfectly good, nor perfectly evil. Man relies on God for his perfection for body and rational soul. The devil gives man nothing but hell…absence from God, corruption and chaos.
    Sixty million sovereign souls are being scraped from the womb and
    “Return to Sender”, “their Creator” is being stamped on them by their procreators.
    Your tax dollars at work.

    I always feel it is a good thing we pay people to tell us how to live…not.
    You are free to remove this comment.

  • @Philip,
    In traditional economics, inflation is what would happen. It’s more difficult in America’s case in a world economy because our printing presses give license to other countries to do the same. If we all devalue our currency, is it really devalued? It’s a race to the bottom. In addition, other countries help fuel our debt by buying it. They need a healthy customer buying their goods. The eggheads have figured a way to abdicate fiscal responsibility.

  • Every politician who wants to raise your taxes and claim the revenue is for the poor is simply another Judas Iscariot. John Chapter 12:
    1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

  • Happy tax day? When the forms are submitted and there is not thought about the spending from treasury, maybe.

  • Kyle Miller.

    Your “race to the bottom” is a good metaphor. When the “winners” hit bottom I hope my interest remains with the losers. Greece? My guess is Greece will look good compared to the future collapses.

  • I am some kind of an accountant and know enough about the code to be annoying. So, I actually know what “they” are trying to get to with the schedules, but the way they run (add this; subtract –% of that; take ##% of that-there;. . . .) you around. You know Einstein was correct, again.
    I hand-write my Fed and NYS returns, which include eight or ten (AMT, rental property, etc.) schedules over and above than the minimum number of schedules. Generally, they are neater than your example.
    One, I am too cheap to buy the software (b/c I earn more – AMT!!!) than allows me to get it gratis (all men are created equal . . . BS!) .
    Two, some ‘dreamer’ will not steal my identity.
    Three, the rats can read my chicken-scratch.
    Four, I have the papers. Every other year I get a letter telling me I owe a % or two of total tax. “Funny” how I always err in my favor – not enough to ruffle their feathers, incur a fine or interest. If I was on their (dark) side, I’d call me in and hand me a strongly-worded letter of reprimand.

  • “I hand-write my Fed and NYS returns”

    As do I T.Shaw. I also provide more documentation than is required.

  • I own a piece of ground, about 18 acres of winter pasture, which is known locally as “the ten shilling land.” [The shilling is an old British coin, 20 to the pound, abolished in 1971]

    As a child, I was intrigued by the name and so I asked the old shepherd about it. He looked after the sheep on the common grazings and he knew everything. He told me that there was once a wicked king, who charged the poor people money, just for living on their own land.

    Years later, I had occasion to check the progress of title in the Register of Sasines and, sure enough, the piece of ground was described as being “ten shilling land of Old Extent.” Now, the Old Extent was a survey of rental values, carried out by King Alexander III in 1280, in connection with a proposed land tax. The New Extent was carried out in 1365-1366 for a tax to pay David II’s ransom under the Treaty of Berwick of 1357.

Happy Tax Day!

Tuesday, April 15, AD 2014

Happy Tax Day!

The late great Jeff MacNelly reminds us above of just how much joy it is making our way through a maze of arcane tax regulations to determine just how much of our money BigGov will generously allow us to retain.  We can all console ourselves that in just six more days we will observe Tax Freedom Day, which comes three days later than last year.  The average member of the middle class in this country shells out one out of three dollars for taxes of all types.  Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that taxes are the price of civilization.  He should have added a coda:  over taxation is often a sign of civilizations in decline.

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11 Responses to Happy Tax Day!

  • Just to annoy them, I write out my tax returns.

    ” . . . taxes are the price of civilization.” I demand a refund!

  • Starch, no, please. I am getting stiffed enough. Thank you. I needed to laugh. This is really funny. The economy will not improve until it is based on integrity and virtue, indispensable and inseparable. It is repugnant to know that hard earned money is being used to afford sex-changes for transexuals and or abortion to destroy another human being. Hobby Lobby will have those abortaficients wrung out of them, the human embryos, riced and diced and spliced, and hemorrhoid lubricant for the practicing gays. Well, what does the illiberal left have left? “What me worry?” in the White House with “What meme worry?” in the wings?
    Government against the people is taxation without representation. Clearly, the Greens and Hobby Lobby have paid their taxes only to have their taxes used against them in court, to extort more than just their money. The Greens and Hobby Lobby are not being represented as constituents composed of body and soul. Their conscience is not being represented by Obama. This equals Taxation without representation. The Greens and Hobby Lobby, not you, nor I, we did not get to vote on the HHS Mandate. More taxation without representation.
    Denying conscience and extorting taxes will not balance our economy.

  • Someone should spoof page two.

    In order to supplement income, there was a time when I worked as a tax preparer.
    This happened at the end of the era of written, mailed tax returns. (I still do my own with the ingrained black ink, no cross outs, and careful penmanship, although have changed to rounding the cents for Federal and following this rounding for State as mandated.) I stayed on for the conversion to e-filing and then, shortly, for its becoming The Way to file. What I found was the abominable give away on page 2 called the EIC or Earned Income Credit – abominable because most of the people who availed themselves of the $5,000 or $6,000 free cash ‘refund’, fondly called ‘my taxes’ blatantly used the chart of how much to ‘make’ with two children on hand to order their chosen employment. Morality took a big hit on this giveaway.

  • “Someone should spoof page two.”
    Pat: It is not funny. I know of a guy collecting $7,000.00 of EIC.

  • Mary: Must be some kind of inflation/’cost of living’ increase. Haven’t looked at the page in the Instruction Pub. for many years. It isn’t funny, that’s why I wonder what a spoof would entail. It seems that the government rolls have dependents receiving the equivalent of over $50,000 yearly.

  • “the abominable give away on page 2 called the EIC or Earned Income Credit”

    Say what you will about EIC, it sure came in handy for us for several years when our income took a big nosedive due to my losing a well-paying job. We used to regularly get refunds in about the $2,000 range due to EIC and the child tax credit (which I no longer receive now that my child is too old to qualify). It was a nice little “windfall” to have once a year, but hardly enough to be worth choosing a job or career around it, and it did nothing to discourage me from trying to better my circumstances (as I eventually did). I could have gotten a bigger credit, of course, if we’d had more children but that obviously did not prove to be enough of a motivator 🙂

    Bear in mind that it is called the Earned Income Credit because you have to have EARNED money from wages, and not *just* be living on food stamps, welfare/TANF, disability, etc., in order to claim it. Yes, I realize there are probably ways around that which people who are experts at gaming the system know about, but the basic idea behind EIC — which I believe was instituted under Reagan — is to provide a lift to the WORKING poor.

  • “is to provide a lift to the WORKING poor.”

    And a considerable lift it can be. I recall a bankruptcy I did where a couple had several kids and they got eleven thousand dollars. Their actual Federal income tax withheld was around $2,000.00. As a welfare program that encourages work, it is probably the best of a bad bundle of policies, but it basically turns topsy turvy the whole concept of tax refund.

  • In the UK, the tax year begins on 6 April.
    Traditionally, it began on Lady Day (25th March, Feast of the Annunciation), which was the beginning of the Civil Year, too. When the Calendar Act 1751 introduced the Gregorian Calendar, it provided that the day following 2nd September 1752 should be 14th September 1752, eliminating eleven days. Accordingly, it postponed the end of the tax year to 5th March 1753. So it has remained. The Act also changed New Year’s day to 1st January.
    Similarly, the Lord Mayor of London’s year of office traditionally ended on the Feast of SS Simon & Jude (28th October); whether this has anything to do with St Jude being the patron saint of hopeless cases, I could not say. It now ends on 9 November (28th October Old Style)
    In my part of Scotland, we still use the old dates for the opening and closing of the common grazings and for the entry and removal dates of agricultural tenancies. Even parliament cannot change the climate.

  • It has occurred to me that all taxes and government run programs ought to be used only for legitimate purposes. Legitimate purposes must be defined by people voting for what they know is legitimate and would not include abortion or euthanasia.(or transgenderism or transhumanism or embryonic cell transfer) Abortion destroys a voter as does euthanasia. The vote of the people is: “The voice of the people of God is the voice of God” How can it be otherwise?
    I know of a doctor who wrote a prescription for his friend for a swimming pool. Social Justice being the giving to the people what the people need to survive in life, not what the people demand, or would like to have.
    “Similarly, the Lord Mayor of London’s year of office traditionally ended on the Feast of SS Simon & Jude (28th October); whether this has anything to do with St Jude being the patron saint of hopeless cases, I could not say.”

  • Fun facts about taxes:

    Taxes are the prices we pay so that seven of the ten richest US counties can be within commuting distance of Washington, DC.

    Since January 2009, Obama proposed 442 tax hikes.

    Today, 86,000,000 private sector workers support 148,000,000 benefits recipients.

    The IRS is an organ of the democrat party: both of which are criminal enterprises.

    There simply is an unacceptably deficient supply of ammunition.

  • Here’s a leg up: Legislators may only legislate legitimate legislation. Condoms and alternate lifestyles are not legitimately taught to innocent, minor, un-emancipated and un-informed children.

In Honor of Tax Day

Monday, April 18, AD 2011


The Tax Man cometh today.  Reason TV explains why we have to pay our taxes in the above video.

The above video was made in 1943 by Disney in order to convince people to save up to pay their taxes.  1943 was also the year when withholding came in as a “temporary wartime measure” because not enough people were saving up to pay their taxes.

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One Response to In Honor of Tax Day

  • It is not too late!

    There is still time!

    All you patriots that think Obama needs more tax money, quick get out YOUR checkbooks and write checks for whatever you think Obama needs so thyat women and children don’t get killed by GOP tax cuts for the rich.

    Make the checks out to United States Treasury.

    If Obama was half as smart as President Reagan he wouldn’t need to end evil, GOP tax cuts for the rich. Reagan achieved economic growth of 7% and 5% higher employment than we do now. And each of us would be richer by $3,000 (per capita GDP) each year if Reagan were now for president. Reagan raised the economy out of a recession with 10.8% unemployment.

    Reagan is in Heaven. But, Thank God, in 2012 we will elect a conservative, like Reagan, to instituute growth policies and return the American people to prosperity.