I think I may have offended a person close to me. I didn’t mean to. I was talking with someone else about the fact that she owed taxes this year due to the way her income is reported, which doubled her 2009 taxable income (as a result of certain travel perks). Of course, she was very frustrated with owing after paying so much in taxes throughout the year already. My wife and I were also unpleasantly surprised at our return, but we got a gold mine compared to having to unexpectedly owe any taxes.
The discussion was somewhat spirited as we shared our disgust with the current tax system and I remarked that it was even more frustrating that people regularly get returns greater than what they paid AND they take advantage of social programs. I wasn’t paying attention to who was near and the person in question, who is low income among other challenges, huffed a bit at me, but didn’t pursue an argument.
On the one hand, I feel a bit bad for not exercising more tact. On the other hand, I assume based on her reaction that she typically receives more on her return than she pays, and I feel a bit slighted that she would be offended at what is clearly an unfair system that negatively impacts my family and many others to her own benefit. I don’t fault her for getting the benefits. I am perplexed that an otherwise rational, intelligent and responsible person would be so beholden to the system as to join the ranks of those who feel ENTITLED to other people’s money.
If anything can start class warfare it’s the April 15th redistribution of wealth campaign. I am not opposed to someone having no tax liability in order to help relieve financial stress at certain income levels. I don’t know how to make that work yet with my Libertarian principles, but I think it can be done. However, individuals who receive more than they pay in taxes are part of a charity that is forced upon their fellow citizens above and beyond what is equitable and reasonable. Such individuals, by default, also have the broadest access to social programs THAT THEY AREN’T PAYING FOR! That’s even more money from their fellow citizens. What about this is even remotely fair? We had another close friend of ours chuckle last year that she gets around twice as much as she pays in when we mentioned this imbalance. At what point does my family get to enjoy the thousands we put into the public fund? I know that’s not the right question, but damn!
The current system is terribly broken and corrupt- a shame provided by Republicans and Democrats throughout the decades. That these very dear friends of ours are demonstrating submission to the entitlement mindset is proof positive that the path of government dependence leads only to more dependence and the absolute crippling of potential. The situation totally reminds me of the scene in Happy Feet where the main character was put in a zoo and ended up dutifully waiting at feeding time for fish to flop over the wall.
God help us if this is our future as a nation!