Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Work Your Fingers To The Bone...

The W-2s and 1099s are all in so I thought I’d pour myself a stiff drink and get started on the dreaded tax return. I’ve sorted through piles of receipts, forms, and documents, and entered all of the required numbers. My bottle is just about empty and the forms are complete.

The good news is that we will be getting a refund for the first in many years, but I won’t be planning that long overdue vacation just yet. Our refund may just pay for a tank of gas, if I stop at the discount station in town.

I remember when I lived comfortably on the same amount of money I now pay in taxes. Of course, that was thirty years ago and I realize that inflation has taken its toll, but there is something unsettling about paying so much of my hard earned wages and seeing so little in return.

Tom Paxton - Times A-Getting Hard, Boys.mp3

Hoyt Axton - Boney Fingers.mp3


Anonymous john said...

1970 - My first year out of the Army and working a grown up job.
$8,000ºº in one year? I thought I was rich. Hell, single and stoned. I was rich!
Now that's about what my retirement package health benefits cost a year! That's with a good union!
Something's wrong here.
But,,,, I shouldn't complain:


January 30, 2008 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Ed, you may be as surprised (or maybe more surprised) as I that there aren't more voices being raised over this subject ... maybe the country really IS being overtaken by 'sheeple' ... god, I hope not ... I'm amazed at how little objections there are anymore, though, to the increasingly-outrageous demands of the 'GIMME!' crowd ... not with MY money, thankyewverymush ... the school I come from always said 'no workee, no eatee' ...mama, why isn't that true anymore?

January 30, 2008 5:20 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

John, you are lucky to have those health benefits, be thankful for your union. My first grown up job paid about the same as yours, and like you I was on top of the world. Gas was 30 cents, a pack of smokes was 30 cents, a six pack was under a dollar: two bucks and the weekend was mine!

The sad fact is that, taking inflation into account, we are still making the same amount of spending money as we did nearly 40 years ago.

January 30, 2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

It’s not that I mind paying taxes. After all, taxes part of living in a civilized society.

The problem is that the money I have given to our government for the “common good” of its citizens is increasingly used to line the pockets of those most likely to contribute to the re-election of the folks holding the purse strings. Our country has strayed from Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Richard, I AM surprised that there are not more voices calling for the return of our country. I expect our government to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty” as set forth in the preamble of the Constitution. Sadly, you may be right about the ‘sheeple’ that have fallen for the lies and charades and have allowed our government to be turned over to corporations and special interests.

I expect the government to provide for the education of our children, to provide the infrastructure required for trade and commerce (roads, bridges), to provide for the common defense (and to treat those who serve in the defense of country with respect and honor – Thanks, John, for the link to that shameful article), to regulate business, and to ensure the safety of its citizens (from food quality to working conditions). I expect our government to lend a hand and to lift up those that have fallen and are in need.

I DO have a problem with my money being used for the profit of corporations at the expense of workers. I am outraged about massive tax incentives given to oil companies that have report record profits. I object to the use of my money to subsidize large agri-biz corporations to distill corn for an extremely inefficient motor fuel while 12% of the children in this country go to bed hungry. I object to workplace safety being compromised for the profit of mining companies. I object to tax cuts for the people least in need of extra cash. I object to no-bid contracts with no oversight or follow-up.

Our tax dollars are handed out by those who are supposed to represent us, to corporations and lobbyists who in turn fund the re-election of their money handlers.

You’re right, Richard. The demands of the ‘GIMME’ crowd are increasingly outrageous, but the ones crying “give me more” are most often wearing tailored suits.

January 30, 2008 9:16 PM  
Anonymous dan said...

In a recent posting, you cited the fact that the rich are looking after themselves very well. They love to tell us that "there's no free lunch", but they use our tax dollars to dine every minute of every day.

January 31, 2008 6:06 PM  
Anonymous john said...

that reminds me of the time my wife's old boss was bragging about writing off his lawn mower as a business expense. The closest thing to grass around the store was a weed growing in the sidewalk - and the mall owners took care of that!
Her uncle, a quite sucessful business owner who eventually sold his factory for 7 million, would wait home every 3d of the month for his Social Security check to arrive. But, he'd go on for hours about "welfare cheats". Family functions were always....... interesting!

January 31, 2008 6:42 PM  

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