Although yesterday, April 15th, is an annually observed National Day of Mourning, this year it fell on a Sunday, a holy day when no federal postal workers must be roused from their beauty naps. So our omniscient guardian angels at the Internal Revenue Service have postponed the filing deadline until tomorrow.
By a sparkling stroke of magical cosmological coincidence, tomorrow is also what is known as “Tax Freedom Day”—according to one calculation, the average American will work from January 1 to April 17 merely to pay off their combined federal, state, and local taxes. The idea is that tomorrow you will finally be “free” to start making your own money until the end of the year. According to an even more ominous estimate—which possibly includes consumption taxes, hidden taxes, ghost taxes, buried taxes, invisible taxes, tucked-away taxes, and sleight-of-hand taxes—the average American working serf will toil until August 12 before finally paying their personal “Cost of Government.”
By golly, by gosh, jeepers, gee willikers, and snap my suspenders until my nipples sting, but that simply doesn’t sound fair to me.
I mailed in my tax return last Friday—the 13th. Filing a tax return always feels like I’m snitching on myself. Licking that envelope shut feels uncomfortably like performing an act of oral servitude on the feds. Being forced to mail those gilded insects in DC money skimmed from my prodigious labor has never seemed fair to me, not a stinking penny of it.
Today the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, also known as the “Buffett Rule.” Politicians, pundits, and the usual cyber-cluster of lobotomized chirping retards have been bloviating and flatulating over this law’s “fairness” as if such a thing could actually be measured.
Yahoo! News seems so deep in Obama’s pockets that they’re basically up his ass. Their recent reprint of a Reuters story, “Obama likely paid higher tax rate than Romney in 2011,” bore the sour stench of partisan unfairness. The first red flag is the word “likely”; the second is the fact that although Romney’s tax rate was lower, he’ll pay about TWENTY TIMES the amount of taxes to the federal government that Obama did last year. Did he use twenty times the government services? Not bloody likely, especially considering all of Obama’s international hunting safaris, local rodeo and karaoke-bar appearances in the American heartland, and hip-hop barbecues at the White House. It’s probable that Obama received a laughably larger amount in free government perks than he paid in taxes. If anything, the tax rate seems unfair to Romney, as much as it pains me to defend him in any way.
Both Romuloid and Obamatron seem like slithery slimy sneaky snakes to me. I bear equal amounts of distrust for both men. But seeing how Yahoo! appeared to selectively choose pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to create the impression that Obama was being maltreated made me realize how unfairly terms such as “fairness” and “paying your fair share” are being bandied around this election year.
Statistics are almost easier to manipulate than voters are, which is why we’ll see endless pictograms until Election Day that define unfairness in contradictory ways. We’ll hear that the dreaded “1%” make a huge chunk of the money, but not that they pay an even bigger chunk of the taxes. We’ll hear that the upper crust is paying a consistently lower percentage of their income in taxes, but not that the bottom half is, too. And even though it’s widely acknowledged that the Buffett Rule will accomplish next to nothing when it comes to digging us out of the $15-trillion trench into which we’ve been unwillingly dug—perhaps with the intent to bury us—we’re expected to take cheer that this empty gesture merely symbolizes fairness.
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