RAGE SUPPLY

I'm at the point of Internet Success (which is like Success, except it doesn't improve one's life in any way) at which random strangers send me things that are relevant to our collective interests. Recently a reader posted this picture, presumably from the office bulletin board. One of his coworkers sounds like a he has been hitting the Swanson Angry Man dinners a bit hard for…decades, presumably.

angryman

I've posted many times over the past decade about Tax Rage. I simply do not get it. There are so many things worth getting angry about and I don't understand how someone's life could be so sad that they obsess over taxes. You know those people who seem like they can talk about literally nothing else? To me they are as pitiable (but somehow more socially accepted) than a guy whose conversational abilities are limited to weird hobbies or Deep Space Nine. The idea of mustering that much anger, that much enthusiasm of any kind about something as mundane as property taxes would be impressive if it weren't so sad.

Reading the small print, the property tax increase in question is $7.92 per assessed $100,000 of property value. According to a real estate site, the median price of a single-family home in Xenia, OH (address in the upper right corner) is $105,000. The median price of homes sold recently is $129,000. Using the higher figure to give Mr. Histrionics the benefit of doubt, an owner of that median priced home would pay under this proposed tax an additional ($7.92 x 12 months x 1.29) $122.60 per year.

Now, let's get something straight. I don't enjoy paying taxes because nobody really does, and I'd rather have $122.60 than not have it. I do not believe $122.60 is an insignificant amount of money, although that means different things to different people. My rule of thumb for evaluating the relative worth of a given amount of money in your life is: If you dropped it in a gas station toilet full of liquid trucker feces, would you reach in to get it? If the answer is yes, it's a lot of money. At least to you. For someone living on the margins of the economy, $8 or $10 per month might be a big deal. To anyone else losing that amount might be unpleasant but – pay close attention to this part, Tax Rage Guy – it's not going to kill you. You'll live. $122.60 is not the difference between the guy who wrote on this flyer being able to eat or not, and I'm hard pressed to see how $122.60 could be the difference between a middle class homeowner's life bringing him happiness or misery. To someone who can afford a median priced home, I don't see how a hundred bucks could be a game-changer.

To be certain I don't want to give away $122.60 any more than the next person. My point is that if the law demanded that amount of money from me to pay for woefully underfunded public schools it wouldn't ruin my day. I don't understand how so many people can get so angry over something so comparatively insignificant – and I'm a fairly angry person. When I have to pay bills or send the IRS money once per year I react the way I imagine most half-normal people would: I write the check, I say "Fuck" a few times, and then I forget about it once it's in the mail. You might say that's just privilege talking and that if I were poorer I would feel differently, a point that would be valid if only the people who do the most bitching about taxes were poor rather than old white people losing sleep over the idea of poor people taking Their Money.

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53 Responses to “RAGE SUPPLY”

  1. Earl Says:

    I have ultra-conservative relatives that live in the East Bay in California. For anyone not familiar with fucked-up CA politics, Proposition 13, passed in the late 70s, effectively froze property taxes when a home is purchased. Now, to their credit, relatives bought a modest home nearly 40 years ago, raised their kids in it, paid it off, and acted like adults. They didn't use it as an atm to install marble–everything or buy cars or take vacations.

    That said, their home is now worth $700k+. They are, particularly since retiring and watching goddamn fox news all day, more and more conservative and just filled with rage about taxes.

    The kicker? Their property taxes are under $1k per *year*. If you bought that house today, it would cost you $700/mo in taxes. Their cable package costs more than their goddamn taxes, but they are livid about it.

    Oh, and their local school district has to beg for funds to have things like kleenex in the classroom.

  2. A Different Nate Says:

    Let's face facts here, folks. If kids are blowing their noses on *kleenex*, the commies have already won. They may not love having to use discarded newspaper in the bathroom, or learning from textbooks that refer to the Dixiecrat party as "rising stars", but when they grow up they'll appreciate the liberty we've given them by making America a third-world nation.

  3. Mr. Wonderful Says:

    Mr. Histrionics (nice!) would probably get out of bed angry at something if he got a free ride on property tax. To people with fragile egos, indignation feels like self-respect. He *likes* his rage. It's what makes him him!

    These are the people Fox News cultivates. What is the function of Bill O'Reilly (let alone Rush Limbaugh), if not to literally make their audience angry and indignant every god-damn day? It makes them feel alive. What else do they have? In the absence of self-knowledge, and the (admittedly humbling) enlightenment that provides, they're subject to the dozen vectors of all-American crap that makes life in these United Snakes what it is.

    Wanna laff? Imagine this guy, or literally any Republican you can think of, professional or amateur, deciding to go into therapy–admitting that literally everything he's thought his whole ruggedly independent, American-exceptional life, about himself and his world, could be wrong. I know–stop, I'm killin' ya. But that's half the electorate: ignorant, and darn proud of it.

  4. J. Dryden Says:

    We can wrap our heads around taxes as a source of misery in our lives–the numbers are small enough, and the misery, arriving as it does on a schedule, is easily pinpointed.

    What we cannot wrap our heads around is the system of corporate, governmental, and societal forces that strip us of our dignity, our ability to feel genuine pride of accomplishment (or genuine accomplishment), our sense of community and empathy–those things the absence of which renders our lives hollow and bitter.*

    Yet we are hollow and bitter. We are angry, but at what we do not know. So, casting about, we light on some small and to-hand. Taxes. That must be why everything is awful. And so we rage against them with the force appropriate to the stuff that actually prompts it: Everyfuckingthing else.

    *Please note that I do not envision any kind of prior Golden Age in which these things were to be found in abundance. I'm merely stating that Here And Now, these are the things depriving us. If I were living a few hundred years ago, I'd be blaming the Church and Patriarchal Political Authority.

  5. Arslan Says:

    "You might say that's just privilege talking and that if I were poorer I would feel differently"

    No, paying property taxes would be positive for a poorer person; it would mean they own property.

  6. Nate Says:

    Hey, I love Deep Space 9 and don't mind paying my taxes.

  7. Major Kong Says:

    I fly with Captains who make half-again my already generous salary and do little but complain about their taxes.

    I usually offer to trade paychecks with them so that they can bask in my lower tax bracket while I shoulder their burden for them.

    No takers so far.

  8. Anonymouse Says:

    My state has discovered casinos, and believes it's the answer to all our problems. A good number of my right-wing co-workers love going to the casinos, where they invariably lose money to gambling (and even more on the valet parking and fancy-schmancy restaurants). It's not rare to hear one or another of them brag about dropping $1000 in a weekend at the casino…but boy howdy do they get histrionic (thanks for the term, Ed) about the topic of taxes, particularly for the roads (that they all drive) and the schools (that most of them send their kids to). Ironically, they all piss and moan about the state of the roads in the no-taxes-EVAH state just to our north. Just recently I pointed out to one of the Ayn-Rand-loving geniuses who was complaining that our seafood catch has been lousy is that the state to the north is dumping all their pollutants into their waterways, which is flowing straight into OUR waterways. This is what happens when there's no gov't oversight–companies do whatever the heck they want.

  9. Talisker Says:

    As it happens, I've just written a blog post on my own tax anti-rage.

    It refers to the British NHS, but you can substitute the police, fire department, bridge and highway maintenance, or any other public service which you might need.

    Whether it's depending on things to happen (fire department turns up to drag you out of a burning building) or to not happen (bridge doesn't collapse), we all depend on public services for our very lives. The annual tax bill is a reasonable price to pay for that.

  10. Anonymous Prof Says:

    This is brilliant:

    "If you dropped it in a gas station toilet full of liquid trucker feces, would you reach in to get it?"

    I think philosophy class and, frankly, discourse in general benefits from these kinds of comparisons. They give a concrete perspective to what might otherwise be the usual abstract bullshit.

    BTW, one of my students said re: Indiana's gay cakes, "I don't get it… how can they force you to do something you don't want to do?"

    I said, "What, you mean like paying taxes?"

    "No, that's different… I mean, like… how can they force you to do something you don't want to do? It doesn't seem fair to force people…"

    Jesus Christ.

  11. Ted Says:

    Not only is he angry, he's angry for no reason: the property tax he's complaining about isn't a t tax increase. It's a renewal of an existing tax:
    These renewal levies, which have been on the books for over a decade, will NOT result in any additional taxes for local residents.

  12. NonyNony Says:

    I recall a conversation my wife and I had shortly after we bought our first house (so over a decade ago at this point) when we were reviewing our property taxes before doing our income tax for the year. We had always assumed that property taxes were a huge costly thing, but when we looked at the raw dollar amount we were paying per month in property taxes we were shocked at how low it was given how much both of our parents always complained about it.

    (I don't get the "tax rage" at all – I get the rage at having to file taxes because like most things in this country we refuse to do things the "easy" way and instead have one of the most convoluted systems of determining how much we owe in taxes imaginable – all of the stupid tweaks to the tax code for deductions and credits and whatnot make figuring out taxes a hair-pulling event. But the actual taxes themselves? Not so much – I consider it my patriotic duty to do my part to pay to have a developed nation. If it weren't for the maddening yearly calculation bullshit I have to go through every year to figure out how much to pay I'd have an overall positive feeling about taxes.)

  13. Karma Fubar Says:

    Your math is wrong. Property taxes are assessed at the county level on an annual basis, not on a monthly basis. The $7.92 is not multiplied by 12. Using the $129,000 valued home the increase would be a total of $10.22 per year, not the $122.60 listed.

    Can you edit the post, stike-through the old number and replace with the proper increase? I think the post would be even better (certainly funnier) if the number was not simply corrected and replaced.

  14. J.D. Says:

    Karma Fubar: the flyer says MONTHLY additional cost $7.92 per $100,000. I think Ed's math is right.

  15. Emerson Dameron Says:

    The Myth of the Individualist wins another round against enlightened self-interest.

    This is the crowd that doesn't mind paying Rotary Club dues but doesn't understand that if the rest of society collapsed around them, it might have a teensy-weensy effect on their standard of living.

    @Earl:
    Do NOT get me started, padre. Remember the "California Dream?" How much have you heard about that, without irony, since Prop 13 kicked in?

  16. Mayya Says:

    I noticed that too about monthly vs. yearly. I'm wondering if the flyer is wrong. In my neck of the woods, a $122 increase for school funding would be unheard of.

  17. HoosierPoli Says:

    I have half a dozen online service subscriptions that I've totally forgotten about that cost more than that tax, and I only recently got what could be considered a 'comfortably middle class' job. It's objectively not a lot of money.

    Notice how the 'common core' rant has nothing to do with the bond issue, and everything to do with Fox News talking points.

  18. Khaled Says:

    Hey! Someone else in Dayton reads Gin and Tacos! We should start a club!

    Bellbrook/ Sugarcreek township is actually located next to Xenia, and the houses are much more expensive than in Xenia- the median house price listed currently in Bellbrook is 284k. The median house price in Sugarcreek Township is even more expensive, with the mean home value in 2009 306k, and has a average household income of $90k. Those of you from other areas of the country would be shocked to see what we pay for housing here in the Rust Belt. Keep in mind that the Dayton metro area is losing population, and has been for quite a while.

    I worked in a Chain Drug Store in Bellbrook when I first moved to Dayton, and I can assure you, these people can afford an extra 8 bucks a month to keep their schools decent. I live in the best school district in the Dayton Area, Oakwood, and I will end up paying about $1,000 dollars more in property taxes than a comparable home in Bellbrook- $4,200 to about $3,200. A steal when compared to other places around the country, and my street has seen houses go up for sale and sell quickly. Again, good schools help your property value! My house sold for about $30k more than an almost identical house a few blocks over that was in Kettering, OH, and my property values stay high because of the school district.

    The overwhelming irony here is that I would bet that at least a third of the people who live in Sugarcreek Township or Bellbrook work at Wright-Patterson AFB, or work at one of the companies that are related to the defense industry located nearby. So yes, the people who are bitching about taxes are, in fact, paid by tax dollars directly (Air Force) or indirectly (defense industry jobs that receive federal funds). The only thing keeping Dayton from being Youngstown is WPAFB and the University of Dayton. WPAFB is by far the largest employer in Dayton, and without it this area would absolutely be Toledo or Youngstown. Dayton itself is kind of a shithole, but at least some of the surrounding areas , like where I live, are okay.

  19. c u n d gulag Says:

    Taxes are the price people pay to live in a civilized society.

    Oh.
    That's right – I live in America.
    Never mind………………….

  20. Jay Says:

    I enjoy paying taxes. With them I purchase civilization.

  21. ladiesbane Says:

    I grew up hearing, "It's not the dollar amount, it's the principle," with a brief rant about unconstitutionality. File it under "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing", being a blanket justifier for all the hate and mistrust for the poor, the needy, the lazy, the people of color, the disadvantaged — all of whom are lumped together and loathed as a symbol of everything Not Okay. If it weren't an Us Vs Them problem, the hypocrisy of being subsidized farmers who hate taxes might have occurred to them eventually.

    During Operation Iraqi Freedom, one of the key men at my agency would rave pro-Bush and very much pro-war, but then rant against taxes — which were artificially low at the time. But sir: how do we support these wars you love so much? If your son were actually fighting in that war, how would we pay his salary, provide him food, buy him bullets? This vice president of a financial institution literally rubbed the crown of his head and said he hadn't thought about that. Then he laughed and said, "I still hate seeing a chunk of my money go away, though. I earned it. And I don't want it being used to pay lazy people to be lazy."

    Dude, that is a pitiable fraction of your contribution, and assumes poor people are lazy, and doesn't answer my question, and when do the bars open in this town?

  22. JanH Says:

    I love to pay taxes. I wish I 'd pay millions of them each year.

  23. Xynzee Says:

    @Arslan: unless you're an unfortunate f### that has an underwater mortgage. Then you're worse off.

  24. Xynzee Says:

    I remember how Bonsai (Howard) gave everyone in my tax bracket a whopping $10/wk tax break! Woo!
    I'm like, that's two schooners (425ml ) of beer a week. Um… Yay!

    Why not take that freaking $10 merge it with everyone else's $10 and put it into the Medicare system? It might only be a doctor or a couple of nurses, but it helps.

    I remember Prop 13, it was the first time I was aware of the ballot thing. What had me was the arse to front language of it. If you wanted to gut the scho…erm wanted to raise property taxes, vote NO! If you wanted to fund scho…ahem raise taxes vote Yes!
    But I think I just explained it to myself… but at the time I heard it described the first way.

    We left Cali soon after that.

  25. Mo Says:

    if only the people who do the most bitching about taxes were poor rather than old white people losing sleep over the idea of poor people taking Their Money.

    Brains that congealed around Reagan's "government is the problem" and "Cadillac queen" notions like tar around a dog dooty will never be rational about taxes again.

    I hope I die before I get so old I have to rely on feeling martyred and indignant to get peppy.

  26. Jesse B Says:

    Prop 13 was also one of my earliest political memories. My dad and grandfather struggled over voting in their own self interests (for) or for the schools (against). In the end, I think they split, with my dad the hippie (self sufficient/survivalist lineage, not peace and love space cadet lineage) voting for it. There was another more balanced measure that same year (14? 8?), but it lost because it didn't cap taxes as strictly, and there was a conservative backlash against Jerry Brown. I think my dad still regrets that vote, but he literally wouldn't have been able to afford the taxes on his property if it hadn't passed. We had purchased one of the last true deals in Napa County in 73. The wine boom was hitting full stride by the late 70s, and the writing was on the wall.

    As for more current anti-tax rage, last year Muncie was voting on a measure to fund the school buses (which because this is an anti-tax heaven with shitty roads, the buses fall apart. Quickly). ~$35/yr per house to fund school buses. Nope we'll go without. Can't waste our money on shit like that. There's a chain restaurant to go to. Indiana is the Louisiana of the upper Midwest. Low taxes = shitty infrastructure (universal truth), but because we've never known any different, we'll just put up with the horrible roads and car destroying potholes.

  27. Jak the Yak Says:

    These are the sorts of people who, without any sense of irony or sarcasm or anything, will tell you to your face that taxes are slavery. Not like slavery, not a metaphorical slavery… if you are paying taxes, you are a slave.

    Yes, this is deeply stupid. No, they can't be reasoned with. I have spoken with people like this who, by virtue of not yelling and not revealing their position clearly from the get-go, seemed rational. I explained that of course I don't like paying taxes, but that I understand that some things are impossible without them. When I got to the point of "so, if we can keep a human being from starving to death without making some other human being starve to death, shouldn't we do that? Because we can do that at what it turns out is only an inconvenient price for everyone else." Their response was essentially "Yes, but it's morally better for a lot of people to starve to death than for rich people to have to buy them food."

    QED. People suck.

  28. Doctor Couth Says:

    The cost/whining ratio is actually far worse than Ed even makes it out. Ohio law prescribes that counties assess taxes on only 35% of fair market value. The taxable value of the median property is therefore about $45,000, making the annual tax hit a devastating $3.58. It's also a chronic problem that in affluent areas where property values have risen rapidly (white flight exurbs and gentrifying urban neighborhoods), the 6-10 year cycle of tax reappraisal means that rich people's houses are chronically undertaxed. Tax appraisers are also in no hurry to reap the harvest of grief that will result from correcting these errors.

  29. doug Says:

    But that's half the electorate: ignorant, and darn proud of it.

    great comment line. For example, today I learned that SNOPES was a bunch of lies!! from someone that ignorant and proud of it. As a life long(so far) southerner, I think we have many such 'proud' folks around the south

  30. Andrew Says:

    I think part of the problem is that there's no guarantee that the extra $7.92/month will actually improve the schools. In my town, we voted in a parcel tax to keep the library open. Two years later, they told us they needed ANOTHER parcel tax to keep the library open. At what point do you just say "fuck it" and vote no? Sales tax in my county is already 9.5%, and some towns levy an extra 0.5% for a nice round 10%.

    I love paying taxes in exchange for civilization, but lately it seems like I'm paying the taxes but not getting the civilization. The answer is probably more citizen involvement and better accountability, not lower taxes, but that's too hard.

  31. OP Says:

    This flyer was actually posted on a supermarket bulletin board in a Kroger. You know the kind; the bulletin board where teenagers advertise their yarn service businesses, lost dogs, and upcoming yard sales.

  32. Xynzee Says:

    I was having a "discussion" with a friend who's gone all anti-tax etc. about a rule that if you drive 20km below the posted limit and not pull over as soon as practible to let traffic pass cops can fine you.
    He says it's a money grab, I'm telling him it's a safety issue as pissed off drivers will do stupid things and cause accidents. I have a 5hr journey on a major "highway"—it's relative—that only has 4 passing lanes until you get to the freeway.
    He says it's the govt's fault for "poor road design".
    I said, you going to pony up the taxes for the road redesign?

    If you're not going to give the govt the cash to fix things, then stfu!

    And if you're not going to get your fat arsed rv off to the side so others can pass before that mountain pass, then you deserve to get fined you rude prick!

  33. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune wrote a typically excellent column* about why the property tax, in particular, seems to trigger so much rage. Basically, it's because it's unavoidable, it comes in a huge yearly lump (unless you're paying it off along with your mortgage), and it comes with a long list of obscure-sounding governments like mosquito abatement districts that get revenue from it, making it seem like everyone's got a hand in your pocket–even though schools get by far the largest slice.

    OTOH, it's reasonably progressive (wealthy people tend to own more expensive property) and it's unavoidable, which is an advantage as well as a disadvantage; it's hard for you to cheat, but it's just as hard for everyone else.

    *I can't link to it because the fucking Tribune firewall won't let me through, even though I'm a goddamned paid dead-tree subscriber. Sorry, just had to rant.

  34. Andrew Says:

    My property tax bill arrives in mid-October. The first payment is "due" November 1, but virtually no one pays it until the real deadline of December 10, after which a whopping 10% penalty is imposed, or shortly before. The second payment is "due" February 1, but again, no real need to pay it before April 10. I find the uneven spacing annoying, since my income is earned evenly throughout the year, so I developed the habit of paying in mid to late October (as soon as I find out the amount) and early April to make the payments closer to six months apart. Paying monthly would be more convenient, but I don't trust my mortgage company to deduct the right amount, so I don't do that, and they don't require it.

  35. roland Says:

    I say fuck taxes. Who needs a civilized society anyway?

  36. Schmitt trigger Says:

    The Most annoying part about these conservative whiners, is that most of them are "christians", yet they don't follow one of Jesus greatest teachings:
    Give to God what belongs to God, and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

    Substitute USA government for Caesar.

  37. Andrew Says:

    Right-wing Christians would prefer that taking care of the poor be left up to the church, not undertaken by the government, so that they could discriminate against people they don't approve of.

  38. Mo Says:

    Hey Schmitt –

    And if you're an atheist, you can save some change by giving nothing to a god that doesn't exist.

    The observation of Catholics giving weekly money to support child molesters still stupefies me.

    As well as opening casinos, let's tax churches! They've got lots of property and income. Time to milk some big fat sitting ducks. [yes, Farmer Bob, I know the difference between duckies and moo-cows.]

  39. oiojes Says:

    It's never the event you see that causes rage. It's the sixty or seventy events previous to the one you see.

    Example:
    Last year we worked hard and got a town meeting article on the ballot to give our selectmen the right to negotiate a solar system to freeze the town's electric cost. We did this because the right wing had beat us up time and again legislatively: do another study to prove the previous studies are right. Don't do that to that old property that's lain fallow for thirty years. Someone might actually want it.

    The selectmen verbally agreed to sign their names. That was it. Sign their names. NO money down. NO construction costs. Just a frozen electric bill. Just to Sign. Their. Fucking. Name.

    Did they? No.

    And THIS year, they're asking for a tax increase to pay for the increased electrical costs. Costs that wouldn't have happened if they had just signed their fucking name.

    So, yes. I'm going to vote no. It's probably not very much. But I'm so very tired of being pissed on.

  40. Skippper Says:

    I moved from (Taxachusetts) Massachusetts to New Hampshire (State Motto: Live Cheap and Die Young).

    NH has no sales tax and no state income tax. (Alternate state motto: We have no taxes and the roads and the schools to prove it.)

    At the end of the year, I calculated that in Massachusetts less money came out of my pocket than it did in NH. In NH, there are tolls on the major highways. We had to provide our own water and sewage. We had to plow and fix our own road. Medical and fire services were provided by volunteers, of which I was one. The school kids were door-to-door panhandlers, selling something different every week. Some communities — the ones with the big-box stores and the nuclear power plant – had very nice schools. Other communities had wretched schools.

    One problem was the corporate and military retirees and double-dippers who flocked to the state to evade state taxes. They either had no school-age kids or sent their kids to private schools. They didn't care if the locals were sending their kids to falling-down buildings.

  41. Katydid Says:

    @Skippper; you've just described Pennsylvania, which is two spots of civilization (Philly and Pittsburgh) with Kentucky making up the rest. The schools are atrocious, the roads and bridges are falling apart, and they nickel and dime the citizens with fees for trash collection, schools, towns, etc., and to find work, you need to drive at least an hour, sometimes three, but the retired military and DoD civilians flock there because they don't pay taxes on their retirement income.

  42. Major Kong Says:

    @Andrew

    What you described is exactly how it used to be. Prior to the New Deal, private charities would help the "the deserving poor". So you had to hope somebody deemed you worthy to live.

    This was all rendered moot by the second year of the Great Depression when the private charities were all completely tapped out.

  43. Matt Says:

    @jak the yak – "Their response was essentially "Yes, but it's morally better for a lot of people to starve to death than for rich people to have to buy them food."

    QED. People suck."

    Not QED, "libertarians are people" is still an unproven lemma. ;)

  44. Major Kong Says:

    You'd think out of simple enlightened-self-interest they'd get tired of having to drive around the bodies in the street after a while.

  45. Brian M Says:

    Major Kong: They don't care. At least until the bodies in the street are due to a contagious plague, then let's send in the most efficient, frugal government agency known, the military.

  46. mothra Says:

    Major Kong:
    That's why they live in gated communities. Keep the bodies outside.

  47. anotherbozo Says:

    Being from New York City I initially thought that "Replacement Levy" referred to a substitute teacher from Brooklyn.

    Property tax increases was a reason many California progressives went Reagan-happy back then, my aunt included. I can identify somewhat, since I pay $55,000/year in property taxes here on a 4-story building with an automatic yearly 4.5% increase built in, not to mention additional rate increases whenever the city needs more money. Politicians have figured out that there are more tenants in town than landlords, and that as voting blocs there is no comparison; so multiple-dwelling property taxes are an easy target, though single-family dwellings go notoriously undertaxed.

    I wonder if this crackpot is aware that his town needs more real estate tax because they just gave several corporations huge, long-term tax breaks and need to get the income elsewhere. Just wondering.

    On the other hand, he could be an idiot. Like the fruitcakes who drove the state of California bankrupt.

  48. Steve in the ATL Says:

    I was mad when I owed a bunch of taxes this year, then I realized that I made so much money I triggered the AMT. I'll have to cut back on the hookers and blow this weekend after I write that check, but it's a sign of overall prosperity so I'm ok with it.

    TL; DR: Fuck republicans.

  49. Andrew Says:

    I object to the AMT in principle. The tax code should not contain so many loopholes that anyone can pay so little tax that they have to have a separate tax code (which is essentially what the AMT is) to snare them. And I further object to the fact that it's not indexed, so more and more middle-class taxpayers get snared by it each year, when it was intended to catch the devious (or astute) rich. But I am glad that I make enough money to have to pay it. :-)

  50. democommie Says:

    I don't make any money, so I don't have to file a return but I would be thrilled to be paying 25% or so on the money I used to earn.

    I have friends that are in the $250K+ earnings range and they are pretty much split down the middle on taxes being necessary or an evil.

  51. Robert Says:

    Fortunately I don't bump up against this very often. My dad was career USPS, oldest brother teaches English at a city college, another brother was career USAF, now career DoD, and I was career VA. Socialism been berry berry good to our family.

    My husband is a small business owner, formerly in the corporate world. He knows better than to argue against taxes in front of me. He hopes to become successful enough to pay them eventually.

  52. Xeniaphobe Says:

    I never liked that town. It scares me.

  53. J R in WV Says:

    When we bought our little "farm" in rural WVa, (really hillsides covered with trees) the current real estate taxes amounted to $11.00. A year. Yes, that's right, eleven dollars a year. My wife set a record by immediately going to the assessor's office in the county seat and yelling at them.

    "How do you expect to have a school system for $11?" She demanded that they raise our taxes, and they didn't know how. The taxes were based upon the last time the land changed hands, in 1947, for $1,700. Howard probably used the pay he earned in the Army for 4 years.

    I went to Dad's next door neighbor's for New Years Eve once. He was a cardiac surgeon, and a little bit drunk. He had shorted his estimated income tax payments, and had to borrow $27,000 for his last quarterly payment. Imagine owing that much extra than you expected!! Of course, he made a ton of money, and that was why he owed a ton of income taxes.

    I wish I owed $27,000 a quarter in estimated income tax payments! Wow, I could afford to go to Europe!!

    And this was 30 years ago, too…

    I see a lot of pseudonyms that seem familiar, no surprise there. Hi Guys!