Happy Tax Day! Because it follows my birthday by five days and I always get money back, I feel like the government’s sending me a gift.
“Casey, you’re a great citizen. Happy birthday! Don’t spend it all in one place.” This year, I had plans. My new house has a 1930’s cesspool I’m upgrading to a septic system.
Instead of the usual “in which account do you want to deposit your refund,” email from my accountant, I got “Here’s the amounts due.” I never get those. Something about “pass-through income,” “S-Corp,” blah blah blah, “Counts as income and reinvestment,” blah blah blah… Someone explain to me how much America loves small businesses? I’m not feeling it today.
Therefore Uncle Sam is getting the money I saved for my septic system–and then some. He probably has more shit than me.
I’m a grateful citizen–this country is wonderful. I enjoy freedoms earned by my friends and family who have fought for me. I honor them by paying my taxes–I’d rather send each one a thank you check personally. “Andy, thanks for your career, go out to dinner.” “Mike–you did three tours–buy yourself a new Yankee hat,” and so on.
I was thinking of ways to make paying my taxes easier–I considered putting a note in the state tax envelope, “Dear Governor Chaffee, although I teach, I’m technically a state employee. Please deduct $2500 from my salary in lieu of state taxes to cut out the middleman. I hope this finds you well. Fix the roads.”
To simplify payment of my federal taxes, I thought about paying them in yuan. We owe China money. If I convert my liability to Chinese currency, the government can send it over directly to pay down the debt. I’m patriotic. I help where I can. I drafted a note to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew–he’s new in this job–being White House Chief of Staff is very different:
Dear Secretary Lew,
I hope this finds you well. I attempted to pay my taxes in yuan to help expedite repayment of the national debt, but in accordance with IRS code 54, requiring taxes be paid in US dollars except in extreme situations, requiring the use of Form 3244 (Code 188.8.131.52), I was unable to do so. Although repaying our debt is “an extreme situation,” I lack Form 3244. Please find my payment submitted in USD, but consider allocating my portion for the following:
1. The purchase of a freshman senator, funded do the good work of The People before lobbyists get him.
2. Allocation of 1000 cases of paper or 36-50 iPads for a school in need.
3. Funding of the next Race To The Top round, or endowment of a national standardized test in my name showing we can beat Finland after all.
4. Fixing of the bridge on the highway that’s crumbling. Could I please send the text I want on the bronze plaque engraved with my name?
Thank you for your time. On behalf of my “small business,” I am honored to contribute toward the running of this nation at the highest levels possible. I hope this helps. Small businesses are, indeed, the backbone of this nation.
Dawn Casey-Rowe–Teacher, Writer, Consultant, Small Business Owner, runner and gardener.
It was a tough letter to write. I had a lot of money to allocate, but there are many worthy causes to consider when pondering state redistribution of my income. I want to give to good causes–government spends too much money on dumb stuff. I’d give to small farmers who struggle against industrial agriculture. I’d help people in need who fall through the cracks. I’d bring doctors into schools for kids with no insurance and fund a system of school lunches that brings food of the same quality served in the Congressional cafeterias to America. I’d support small businesses that keep jobs in our nation, and I’d endow scholarships to students who might otherwise be unable to train for things like curing cancer. I know Jack Lew is busy–I don’t want to take up too much of his staff’s time.
I wonder, instead of letting Congress argue about budgets, if we could do a a series of Kickstarters. Americans would get tax bills and click to kickstart Congresses initiatives. Senators would pitch their ideas and the people would decide what got funded after our obligations were met.
I wouldn’t mind paying so much money without getting a new car in return, because I’d get emails and updates following all my Tax Day Kickstarters and I’d know America was truly a better place–a land where the people made decisions accomplishing things important to us–cutting out the middleman, saving some cash, which we could then allocate to more national Kickstarters. This would make Tax Day a holiday indeed.
[images: intelligentspeculator.net and my tax bills]