Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You
If there is one week in my house that is unpleasant, it’s tax week. There is nothing worse than seeing my parents in sweatpants at the kitchen table, hunched over piles of receipts that stand much taller than they should. An eerie feeling always manages to make it through the house to my bedroom that makes me realize I should avoid leaving it at all costs and survive on the chocolate stash in my nightstand drawer. Remembering the “tax weeks” of my childhood always cause me to sit content with being stuck in my closet-like dorm room in Arizona. Over here, I can at least be assured that I am far enough away from my kitchen back home where I would surely accidentally trip over and unplug the adding machine, causing a mini-fiasco to ensue.
Really, who likes taxes? I graduated near the top of my high school class and am in an honors college, and doubt I will ever be able to tell the difference between a W-9 form and my calculus book. To me, they’re written in a different language only known to those very few and proud geeks (and I mean that in the most loving way possible) who ever took accounting.
Taxes always seem to involve so much fine print. There are percentages and percentages of percentages and exceptions and rules and notes like, “K-1 equals box Q-87 + Z-24 + J-92.” How does anyone know if they are getting cheated or scammed? Are you sure your tax return was correct? You didn’t even get through pre-calculus— how can you be sure that the derivative of the square root of box R-95 actually amounted to $95? Just thinking of filing my taxes makes me queasy—and very glad that I’m dating an accounting major.
Really, forget government—taxes are an unnecessary evil. Well, government is too, but we all know that, right?
What if there were no more taxes (other than a sales tax, which is far easier to calculate than the values on my future W-2 form)? I know I wouldn’t be complaining, and I would be able to enjoy walking into my kitchen an extra week out of every year. Imagine all the extra income families would have to spend on purchases like a new vehicle or cute shoes! Imagine all the extra money that would be circulating through our economy, just keeping things nice and regulated. Wouldn’t it be lovely?
Really, who would complain about no taxes? Those on government assistance and those who absolutely love the idea of getting government assistance—that’s who.
Now, before I get crucified as a horrible and selfish big, bad Republican, let me set the record straight.
I understand that not everyone was made equally. I understand that people sometimes need a little extra help. However, who is the government to force its citizens to help one and other?
I am all for helping people. I have more community service hours than qualms against socialism—and boy, that’s a whole lot. I think charities are great and the people that manage them, even greater. And if I get my dream job at a public relations firm someday, I would love to be able to contribute part of my income to charity if I can afford it—but by the looks of our country right now, there’s a very slim chance for that.
The night before the health care reform bill was signed, I got into an argument with an acquaintance. Apart from having absolutely no knowledge of how health insurance works and criticizing both my and my father’s information (My father has been in the health insurance industry for well over 15 years.), my acquaintance had decided that it was going to be my responsibility to pay for her medical expenses.
Imagine if someone came up to you and said, “Hey, guess what? You’re going to buy me dinner.”
Disgust. That’s basically the effect this girl’s comment had on me. I was absolutely appalled. Who was she to, first, insult my knowledge on health insurance and then command me to pay for her medical expenses?
She wasn’t even considering that she might be making more money than I would after graduation and might be responsible for paying my medical expenses due to the legislation she was supporting. (However, after rereading her comments, I somehow doubt this will happen…)
Are you starting to realize what government assistance programs have done to peoples’ work ethic and responsibility of self, not to mention tactfulness?
It’s one thing to accept a charitable donation, but to accept without gratitude?
When I have more than just a few Ramen packets to spare (And believe me, I have already donated plenty of those.), I would love to help others in a more substantial way. However, I would like the freedom to choose who to help instead of having my tax dollars wasted by helping ungrateful leeches.
In fact, I have a feeling a lot of people feel similar to how I feel. Imagine if you had all your extra tax dollars to spare and were a great supporter of, let’s say, the polio vaccine. You could donate all the money you could spare to have thousands of low-income people vaccinated for polio. (I know it’s a far-fetched example, but hey? You never know.)
I would gladly help the mother of 4 children whose income from a janitorial job just doesn’t cut it. And I would be more than happy to give to a veteran whose disability leaves him without work. But a selfish woman who has no sense of responsibility for her own welfare? And a family who is on food stamps, but sits at home playing on their brand new Wii?
Some people deserve to be helped. Others do not.
I sometimes wonder if people on government assistance ever think about where their assistance comes from? It surely doesn’t come straight out of the pockets of the liberal congressmen that passed the legislation. Do these people ever think of the help that they receive from a couple that sits at their kitchen table for a week straight, stressing over paying taxes?
Maybe in theory “sharing the wealth” isn’t all that bad, but when there’s more sharing on one part of the spectrum than the other, is it really sharing after all?