Tag Archives: tea party

Thoughtful Thursday – The Tax Man Cometh

It’s that time of year most of us dread – Tax Day! So for today, some interesting facts about taxes.

In 1861, Congress passed the “first” tax on personal income to fund the costs of the Civil War. When the war ended, the tax was repealed. (For a history of the U.S. tax system, you can read this article on Tax History at the Treasury Department.) To cope with the costs of World War I, the personal income tax was brought back and it was all downhill from there.

According to Rasmussen Reports, 61% of Americans believe cutting taxes will help the economy and 66% think that Americans are overtaxed.

Kiplinger analyzed tax burdens and reports that, “the top 1% (of Americans) pay 39.89% of all federal individual income taxes. The bottom 50% of earners pay just 2.99% of those taxes.” The top 10% (those earning more than $108905 or more) bear 71% of the tax burden (also from Kiplingers).

41% of New Yorkers did not pay federal taxes last year reports the NY Post. Now this is depressing not because they did not pay taxes, but because in a state with the world’s financial center – New York City – there should be more prosperity.

The Tax Foundation did its annual calculations and indicated that most Americans will work over three months, from January 1 to April 9 before they have earned enough money to pay this year’s taxes. In New Jersey, we get to work an additional 16 days — until April 25 — to pay all those taxes. Thanks, Corzine!

So what’s the average person supposed to do?

As the old saying goes, there are two things in life you cannot avoid — Death and Taxes. Ask Al Capone. Tax evasion did him in!

But on that note, wasn’t it John Kennedy who said:

“As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both partners, without domination or unfair advantage.”
1963 J. F. Kennedy Address 25 June in Public Papers of Presidents of U.S. (1964) 519 from Answers.com

Hmmm . . . maybe the Tax Man should Cometh a little less? Or at least leave some change in our pockets? LOL! Since that seems unlikely in the near future, how about taking advantage of some of these Tax Day Freebies being offered to take the sting out of things? Click on this link to find out how to get free and/or reduced specials at Starbucks, Maggie Moos, Cinnabon, McCormick & Schmicks and others.

Al Capone Mug Shot taken by the Department of Justice when Al went to Alcatraz for a 10 year term for Tax Evasion
Al Capone Mug Shot from Dept of Justice

Thoughtful Thursday – On taxes and tea parties . . .

teapartyFirst of all, my apologies for missing Wicked Wednesday only it was a crazy day at work and of course, even worse, it was Tax Day!

The lines at the Post Office were awful, I’m told. There were dozens in line to buy stamps to mail their tax returns and even more people dropping by to place their returns in the bins labelled for the respective tax centers in the area.

Tax day and tea parties! Now, whether you’re for or against the current tax and stimulus plans, here’s the thing . . .

You have the freedom to speak out about it. If you follow all the rules and behave responsibly, you have the right to stand up and let your voice be heard. Whether or not the politicians and media listen is a whole different thing, but it doesn’t lessen the fact that you have that freedom.

Freedom and responsibility. They go hand in hand.

My daughter and I were talking about this the other day. She’s taking a sociology course in college where they are discussing all kinds of interesting things. Political democracy. Economic democracy.

Democracy period. A fascinating concept to be sure. Wikipedia defines it as “a form of government in which power is held indirectly by citizens in a free electoral system” and goes on to offer various examples of different kinds of democracies.

The bottom line is . . .

Democracy only works if you do as well. Vote. Voice your opinions. Demand honesty from your politicians and the media. You have the freedom to do so, but more importantly, it’s your responsibility to do so.