The Anger of the Ides of March

Like most adults, I understand and accept my burden as a taxpayer in this great country.  It’s part and parcel of being an American.  You may not exercise your right to vote, but by God you’ll pay the taxes.  (Unless you’re poor, in which case you’ll probably do neither…) And yet when mid-March rolls around, the tax forms roll in, the anger starts to set in.  If it weren’t for college basketball, MLS getting started, and the improving weather to temper my mood, I’d probably be a real handful.  So consider, if you will, some of the recent developments to make tax day ever more joyful:

  • Taxpayer-fueled bonuses to Wall Street Executives, most of whom contributed mightily to the recession
  • Tons of government programs that seem to give incentives for  not working and contributing to society
  • The State of Illinois $13 Billion in the hole and the governor playing chicken with the legislature over education dollars
  • If you get a refund check from the IRS, you’ve essentially given them a short-term interest free loan; if you owe them in the end, you can bet your ass they’re charging you interest (just doesn’t seem right, does it?)
  • All levels of government seem to favor creating programs and services to consolidate their hold in power rather than, you know, governing and providing the basics to society (I realize this is a broad statement, but it sure seems that way of late…)

A friend of mine is fighting his property tax rate.  He feels it’s egregiously inflated at a time when real estate value have decreased, and  I tend to agree.  The process has taken over half a year, and it doesn’t seem close to resolution.  It will probably end up in court, and of course they’re attempting to charge him interest.

If you drive through any town in Illinois, you’re likely to see the local school announcement sign listing how much the state owes that particularly school district.  Even for smaller districts, it’s currently in the hundreds of thousands per district.  Illinois has screwed up education funding for decades and it may finally be coming to a head.  Yet our legislators have refused to address the issue for a generation.  Too controversial, too difficult, not how you get re-elected.  We ask you – if you don’t throw the bums out when the schools can’t operate, when exactly will you do it?

And the Healthcare bill.  Don’t know what to think about that, to be honest, but it ain’t going to be cheap.

Such is the general atmosphere as many of us sit down to do the taxes.  Just take a look at how much you’ve paid and ask yourself if the government is making good use of that money.  It is an election year, after all.

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