Tag Archives: taxes

Thoughtful Thursday – Big Government

I’m on the road for work, so this post will be a little short, but I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say!

For starters, let me say that I’m as pissed as the rest of America about the millions paid by AIG in bonuses. What I wonder is why there is so far not so great a fuss about the billions sent overseas to various banks. But I digress.

Again, it’s very disappointing about the bonuses, but I think the disappointment and anger at AIG is misplaced for a number of reasons.

For starters, it’s not uncommon in the financial sector that people get paid a small regular salary and receive the “bonus” as part of their regular salary package. It’s upsetting now since the money is coming from taxpayer dollars, but the point is that these people negotiated these payments as part of a regular and ordinary salary practice.

If you want to blame anyone, ask yourself why it is that the Government provided billions to various financial institutions with full awareness of things like these bonuses. What the Government should have done is lay out the guidelines as to what these financial institutions could do with the monies provided and what they could not do.

The 90% tax imposed to attempt to fix that mistake, while pleasing the public that is riled, is wrong on so many levels. The tax code wasn’t written to penalize anyone and to use it for this reason is wrong.

Again I digress. What I’m trying to say is that Government has to lead by acting thoughtfully and not in haste and certainly not in reaction to public polls and opinions. What the public wants isn’t necessarily what’s right.

Government also has to lead by example. In other words, pay your share of the taxes, don’t vote yourselves a pay raise and find a way to put money back into the hands of hard-working Americans because, IMHO, Government doesn’t know how to manage money. How many times do we hear about cost overruns on Government projects, bloated administrations, $640 toilet seats and $436 hammers!

What do you think? Do you trust the Government to know how to spend all this money?

Thoughtful Thursday – Dying and Paying Taxes

taxesI think you know that old saying that goes: There are only two things you have to do – die and pay taxes.

Unfortunately, it seems that the paying taxes part only applies to you and me while some people are able to make “careless mistakes”.

Case in point — Our new Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner who said he hadn’t paid some taxes on time due to “careless mistakes.” According to an article in The Guardian, after a 2006 audit Geithner paid arrears on his 2003 and 2004 returns, but not immediately on his 2001 and 2002 returns. Apparently the three year statute of limitations had run on those. He did eventually pay them — after his nomination to the post.

Hmm . . . Does that mean that if he hadn’t been nominated he wouldn’t have paid them? What do you think?

I recall the IRS sending letters to my daughter when a math error meant she owed them like 5 dollars. The letter came with all kinds of dire warnings about what would be done if the 5 dollars and interest wasn’t paid on time.

So how is it some people get away with not paying thousands? Do you wonder how this happens?

Let me know what you think about the U.S. tax system or your own tax situation if you are not in the U.S. I know that many of you in other countries pay even higher taxes.