Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Can't Take it With You

There is a scene in the play, "You Can't Take it With You," where Grandpa Vanderhof gets visited by an IRS agent because he hasn't paid his taxes. Ever. When the IRS agent asks him why, the grandfather just replies that he doesn't ever see tax money going anywhere useful and he throws the responsibility back on the agent to explain what they need all that money for. The IRS agent mutters something about the military needing it, and roads and schools, and of course, the constitution. The grandfather argues that the constitution was paid for a long time ago and maybe those other things are important, but he thinks they're only worth about $15.00 for the lot.

We sent in our federal income tax forms today. I do often wonder about the purpose of all that money.

Roads and schools are good...but doesn't my state pay for most of that?
The military is good...but do they really need that much of my money for it?
Is my money paying for people on welfare?
Or unemployment benefits for people who've lost their jobs in the recession?
Again, I see the value of taking care of our fellow citizens, but does the government really need as much as they're taking?
I think the national parks are a good idea...I can get behind paying taxes for those.
I like my firemen and my police officers, but again, doesn't my state pay for those, not the federal government?

In any case, I think it's all worth about $10,000 a year for someone like me. Unfortunately, they take considerably more if you're a debt-free married couple who both work with no kids.

They're like, "congratulations for paying cash for your house and not getting knocked more taxes!"

If the federal government was a business, it would be a pretty lousy model. It doesn't generate any of its own income and it's not self-sustaining. Couldn't some of the smartest people in this country figure out a way to make the government just a little more independent? I mean, if someone gave me so many billions of dollars a year, I could invest it and earn interest on it and hopefully figure out a way not to keep needing billions of dollars a year, instead of just spending it all every single year.

Here's what I'd like them to do with my taxes this year: Hire a financial analyst. They might have to put my taxes together with my parents in order to do this, but between the two, it'd be plenty. The financial analyst could come and take a look at the federal budget and trim the thing. That is what a business would do if they were billions of dollars in debt.

Aah, well, it's only money, right? And you certainly can't take it with you.


  1. Yeah....not a big fan of taxes right now, either.

  2. If taxes were not taken out of everyone's paycheck, there would be a tax revolt.
    Congress shrewdly passed the law years ago where the government took the money directly out of one's paycheck. If everyone had to pay directly the nation would be in shock how much they actually pay!