A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I`d Rather Be In Philadelphia

The late, great comedian W.C.Fields hated Philadelphia. In his view, Philadelphia was barely a step above the `tarnal flames, and he used the city as a metaphor for damnation. Nonetheless, at the bitter end he recanted, and his tombstone reads ``I`d rather be in Philadelphia``. Which brings me to the point of the story; the April 15 tax filing deadline has now passed, and I can now cancel my reservations to the City of Brotherly Love!

Should my sojourn in this life end in tragedy, and I find myself not on the escalator to that great Starbucks in the sky but instead riding the coal chute for the sub-basement, I know what horror awaits me. I needn`t fear fire, or demons with whips, or even Pauly Shore movie marathons; these are but light afflictions. My punishment will be far more diabolical. I will be escorted into a modern, well lit office with a great urn of really old coffee and no windows. The room will smell of toner and pencil shavings, and an enormous clock will hang on the wall ticking loudly while a fax machine will receive continuous copy in one corner. In the middle of the room will be an enormous wraparound desk piled to the ceiling with tax forms and other government worksheets which, to my everlasting suffering, I will be required to fill out for all eternity. Perhaps they will slip vacation forms into the piles, or request for assistance sheets, or the forms needed to eliminate the paperwork altogether, but I will have to find them and assemble the proper copies, then submit in triplicate. Of course, there is a submission deadline, and I`ll have to find the proper form to file for an extension...

I simply can`t understand how anyone would voluntarily work as an accountant. The mind-numbing,endless series of lines, the unintelligible language used, the mathematical conundrums should conspire to drive sanity out of anyone`s noggin. Don`t get me wrong; I am grateful that I can hire someone to perform this horrible chore for me, but there has to be a better way.

The Revolutionary War was fought over tariffs imposed by Britain to help pay for the cost of stationing British troops to defend against the French. Americans became angry over a few pennies of taxation which was collected at the docks. The average citizen had to do nothing, yet they were willing to fight, and die, to overturn this ``tyranny``. The Civil War was partially fought over tariffs; the northern states had been pushing for high manufacturing tariffs to protect their fledgling industries, while the southern states wanted low tariffs to give them access to cheaper, better made goods. This disagreement was a large part of the original bone of contention between the states, and it eventually led to one of the most destructive conflicts in history.

What has happened to the American people? How could a people willing to fight and die for lower, easier taxes become so cowed by their own government that they are willing to fill out all of these forms, or pay someone to fill them out for them, then stand in line at the post office for the privilege of paying usurious taxes to a government which then uses the money to run roughshod over their beliefs? Why is government so out of control? Because of the income tax. The idea of an income tax came straight out of Karl Marx! Marx fathered this abomination, and the U.S. government adopted it as a rider on another bill! It was intended to be a temporary measure to help pay the costs of the First World War. We have never been free of it since, and it is the engine which has allowed our government to become the Leviathan we now wrestle with. Without the gargantuan amounts of money generated by the IRS the gorilla of government would shrink to a field-mouse. Conservatives would have everything they seek if the IRS were to be defunded.

Unfortunately, we aren`t the men our fathers were, and so we accept the shackles of slavery imposed on us by our abusive Uncle Sam. Every year we scramble about, trying to fill out form 1099 and supplemental form 2061 or 1087 or whatever while being sure to have it all in triplicate!

I`d rather be in Philadelphia!



Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Bravo, Tim.
You've helped explain why it's called the "Infernal Revenue."
Taxation is theft, and if more people don't come to realize it, the coming generations will be paying more out in taxes than they will be "allowed" to keep.
A lot of well-meaning but non-thinking Christians try to rationalize their acquiescence to tyranny with a partial quote from the Bible: "render unto Caesar."
They need to remember the context: Jesus took a coin, turned it over, looked at both sides, including the obverse and the likeness of Caesar; then he said "Render unto Caesar."
Today we need to look at a Federal Reserve Note, see the picture of Washington, and say, "He's dead."
And we need to say, "I earned this. It's mine."
Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"
And he too was talking about taxes.
The power to tax is the power to destroy.
"I earned it. It's mine." Now there is a battle cry for free men.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

What a wonderful column,Tim -- beautifully written -- I love all your comparisons and allusions. Yes, it's something, isn't it?? But what are we to do? We elect these people who talk about a flat tax or a simplified tax, and then they make it even more complicated. The cut our taxes, but give us an alternative minimum tax - which bites you in the behind anyway, if your taxes wind up being too low --- or --- I think that's how it works. And because it is withheld from our paychecks -- most Americans have no idea how much money they really pay in taxes. Ask them and they will tell you they either owe X amount of dollars at the end - or - wonder of wonders -- they are getting a refund!!! Wowee -- the government's way of stealing and borrowing your money for an entire year without paying you one red cent in interest -- and then "giving" it back to you at the end of the year and we all jump and shout "goody, goody" -- as if it's free money.

I've given up hope on this topic. Bush talked a good game for a while there, but now he seems to have stopped talking about it.

Yes, it seems, along with the poor - -we shall always have the taxman with us -- but remember -- you can't rely on the advice given to you by the government -- because it may be faulty, and no matter what happens, and how many people you check with - -and how many government experts tell you you can take that deduction -- in the long run -- you will always be wrong and the government will always be right.

As Dave Barry once wrote -- there's something suspicious when the IRS's number for question is:
I-800-Audit Me.

10:43 PM  
Blogger StaticNoise said...

It has been said before but there is a reason the politicians have put tax day as far from election day as they possibly could.

The reason people don't protest more is two fold: One is out of sight, out of mind. Withholding from the paycheck masks the pain. Two, propaganda from the left wing. If we question the income tax we are greedy and compassionless.

6:17 AM  

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