It’s no wonder America is headed to hell in a hand basket (as my father likes to say – personally, I don’t know what a hand basket is, exactly, and why we’re in one).
I took a look at our tax situation yesterday, just to get a feel for how much we should be saving or budgeting toward that millstone. Turns out that we’re looking at a sizable refund in April, most probably. Myself, having always been self-employed and freelancing, I have never gotten a refund in my life unless I accidentally wrote the wrong amount on my enormous check I cut when taxes were due. Otherwise, it felt like passing a kidney stone, the amount of my money I had to send off to the government. The percentage of my income they take (and the way they spend it, but don’t get me started…) is unbelievable.
In fact, I don’t think most Americans DO believe it. That’s the problem. If every other person in America had done what I have always had to do – cut a check for 100% of their taxes in the middle of April – there would be a revolution like none other, a boycott on the bigwigs of the Congress who are making these ridiculous decisions, and a riot outside the White House until the President had to take notice. Unfortunately, that’s not how it is. Rather, like a frog being slowly cooked in gradually heated water, or a gentle slide down a very steep slope, most Americans don’t feel the pain. They actually feel like the government is GIVING them something, because most receive a refund!
You see, it’s all about the perception. Our government has ingeniously designed the system to make you live in deprivation for the entire year, and then give you back some of your money at the end of it all. Did you read that? The government isn’t giving you money; they are RETURNING your hard-earned wages, which they ERRONEOUSLY took from you throughout the previous year. They’re giving you back SOME of YOUR OWN MONEY. It’s not a gift. And if you were to keep every penny you earned for the entire year, and then cut a check yourself, you’d realize just how much of your cash you had to part with. That’s what I always did, and, as you can see, I’m all fired up about the spending habits of our government, as well as the devious ways with which they take their money.
And the tragedy is that such a small percentage of America perceives it correctly. Because of “tax withholding” throughout the year, most of America has been totally blinded to the situation here. And as a result, they vote in people like President Obama, who wants to raise our taxes even higher! Nice move, America.
Ok, stepping off the soapbox now…