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Tax Day Opt-Ed Roundup

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“People say all the time: ‘We can’t pick winners and losers.’ Well then fine. Take every single dollar of subsidy out of the federal tax code. Get rid of it all. . . . Let’s have a real level playing field where nobody gets a penny in subsidy.”

– Hillary Clinton, quoted in USA Today, April 5, 2008

Happy tax day to all Americans. Its bittersweet, isn’t it? Of course, there are plenty of opt-eds from the conservative media on the topic today. Investor’s Business Daily believes we should move election day to April 16th. RealClearMarkets has Steven Malanga to tow their conservative line that the rich have a heavier tax burden. The Wall Street Journal looks at the ballooning tax code and its loopholes with a relatively straight-forward metric more familiar to grad students like myself: pages of text. Meanwhile, conservative blogger Rachel Lucas has quite the screed regarding taxes, finally saying she paid enough to “Still want to drink whiskey and blow shit up.” Luckily, this year I didn’t have to feel the pain of self-employment tax, like Lucas and other bloggers. Maybe next year? The New York Times takes its familiarly liberal line of abolishing “taxes” (in the push for more, as I might infer), as Richard Coniff writes,

I propose we stop saying “taxes” and start calling them “dues.”


the word “dues” also plays into the psychology of group identity, and that can work to the benefit of conservatives and liberals alike. Consider that “tax” comes from the Latin for “appraise” with punitive overtones of “censure” or “fault,” as if wage-earners have done something wrong by their labors. “Dues,” in contrast, is rooted in social obligation and duty.

His less than serious tone noted, I still find myself wondering whether Coniff is familiar with Shakespeare and his “rose by any other name” line–or the IRS’ idea of economic substance. These hold in the case of his “dues,” too.

Tax day is not bad for us all. If you’re not paying in though, why not file early and not give the government a few months more of free interest? You’ll have your money quicker and the whole idea of “tax day” will be over with.

Just don’t look at you tax liability that you’ve already paid. The greatest thing the government ever did was take away the money before we ever get our mits on it through mandatory withholdings. Now many of us only see the rapidly growing number at the bottom of our weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly pay stubs.

If anyone still needs to do their taxes, I recommend Turbo Tax (what I used).


Written by walonline

April 15, 2008 at 9:27 am

Posted in Regulation

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