Thursday, April 16, 2009

Post Tax Day Thoughts

Okay, so tax day came and went, and I ended up owing Uncle Sam (not his real name) a bundle. This has raised a bunch of questions that have undoubtedly been asked before, but since I am trying to chew up space here I'll ask them again.

Who knows, I may even try to answer them, although if you're looking for useful information I wouldn't hold my breath.
  1. Why do we pay income tax, anyway?
  2. Why is the tax code so insanely complicated?
  3. How come, no matter what color your clothes are, the dryer lint is always grayish-blue?
These are questions that have vexed people since the dawn of time, or at least since last Tuesday. So let's take a stab at 'em, shall we?

Why do we pay income tax, anyway?
There is a very good reason for paying income taxes. If we didn't have an income tax, then there would be no reason for the Internal Revenue Service to exist. As a result, all those IRS employees would be forced into the marketplace to find work. However, since the fall of the Spanish Inquisition, those kinds of skills aren't really in demand anymore (although George W. Bush did make a respectable try at bringing back the "good old days" as Dick Cheney called them), resulting in a large, surly crowd of people who really know how to screw up your life wandering around instead of being locked in a windowless concrete bunker in Washington, DC.

Another reason that some people like to bring up is that, without income taxes, there wouldn't be enough money to run the government. Without that money, individual Congresspersons would have to pay for their own sex scandals instead of letting the American public foot the bill. As a result, these sex scandals would be a LOT more boring, and since the only useful purpose I can see for the Federal government is the entertainment value of trying to figure out what that intern saw in the fat, balding 75 year old Senator in the first place we just can NOT let this happen.

Why is the tax code so insanely complicated?
It's not, really. That is, it's not that complicated if you are a Nobel prizewinning economist who also holds doctorates in political science and international game theory. For the rest of us, the tax code is expressly designed to cause brains cells to die and leak out our ears in such a way so that they sound like gravel rolling down a metal playground slide.

However, there are some really smart people out there who manage to understand the tax code well enough to know that it's basically full of crap. This is why, at the end of every year, they CHANGE it. After all, if the average taxpayer actually knew the 14,873 ways in which they were getting screwed they might get a wee bit upset and start ... oh, I don't know ... holding government accountable, or something.

How come, no matter what color your clothes are, the dryer lint is always grayish-blue?
Actually, nobody except Stephen Hawking knows the answer to this question, and he ain't talking. Literally.

So that's it. My annual Post Tax Day Roundup. If this article was at all helpful to you it was purely accidental. I gotta lie down.

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