15 April 2010

oh yeah, its that day too

I suppose I would be remiss without bothering to note that it's a tax day.

Things I will not be doing
1) Filing my taxes. Already done
2) Getting a refund. Always, always, better to keep money all year and earn interest or use it to pay down interest based costs than to provide the government with a 0% loan. I don't care what your supposed wisdom is that it's better to get a lump sum refund from the government. The lump sum becomes an excuse to squander money rather than pay down debts anyway. So you are still wrong. Most people do not even have this much of an excuse in place, seeing this as "free money" or "money from the government". Again, you are wrong. It is YOUR money. They're just giving it back to you after having free use of it for many months.
3) Complaining that half the country doesn't pay taxes. They don't pay federal income taxes, yes. But they pay a whole bunch of other taxes (excise, payroll, state or local, property, sales). Sorry, but the supposedly vile redistributionist empire of the United States will find a way to make you pay something. Rich people do pay a lot of money off in some manner and this may be an inefficiency of government, not to mention an inefficient method to propose paying off the deficit/debt problems of governments, but don't start to pretend that there are armies of people who pay nothing at all as a means of opening that line of argument.
4) Protesting the existence of the IRS to the IRS. Talk to Congress and the President and propose alternative methods of successfully financing the operations of government and public services (or alternative methods of providing public services if you don't think the government, and the federal government in this particular case, should do so). Don't bother bureaucrats doing a job that in effect we have selected that they should do. Similar to people who might complain about the military without bothering to complain about the people who sent the military off to do something disagreeable.

One thing to bother complaining about is the level of complexity in the tax code. And of course this is one such complexity. I'm not seeing a positive reason to keep the HMI deduction around except to privilege realtors and homeowners (ie, mostly wealthier people) for higher property values. Basically I object on some limited grounds to redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, mostly on grounds that indicate how ineffective some of our methods have been at accomplishing stated goals, but I don't see a moral or economic grounding to defend redistributing wealth from poor to rich and using the tax code or any other political device to do so. This was, among other reasons, a very simple basis for taxing so-called "Cadillac health insurance plans", because such plans were largely, but not exclusively, purchased or provided to wealthier people in lieu of taxable income (which they could easily afford to expend on health care or insurance should they want it privately).
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