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Lloyd Waters: The taxman cometh for the middle class

April 14, 2013|By LLOYD WATERS

The middle-class taxpayer, I suspect, is a little like Ichabod Crane, an honest traveler who decided one night to ride his horse through Sleepy Hollow.

He disappeared into the night.

Maybe Ichabod was a middle-class taxpayer. On April 15 at midnight, a ferocious headless rider will be looking for the likes of Ichabod Crane to collect the government’s taxes.

If you’re in the middle class, you better get ready to share some coins with your favorite uncle.

Why? Because no one else wants to pay income taxes.

Those on the lower end of the economic ladder are quite content to receive their monthly welfare benefits from the government and chat away on government-issued cellphones, while being supported by the middle class.

Why wouldn’t they be happy? They get a check monthly, and don’t have to work or contribute any money to the cause.

Don’t worry, be happy. The middle-class folks will pay your share so you can continue to collect your currency forevermore. It must be nice not to work or contribute.

Some of our friends at the top of the ladder have a similar problem.

General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, many oil companies and many others too numerous to mention are ecstatic also. They make billions and billions of dollars and swim around the tax code better than Moby Dick.

Many of them pay no income taxes, either.

Don’t worry, be happy. The middle class has your back, too. Keep everything you earn and don’t offer up a dime for the cause. 

It’s the American way.

As the taxman cometh to collect his taxes from the middle class, he must resemble that headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow. He obviously has no brain, and I suspect no heart, either.

Otherwise our tax system would be fairer to all.

There are other avenues to collect taxes.

Some anonymous author has offered the following prose to share our tax-paying woes. Maybe this writer belonged to the middle class as well.

“Tax his land, tax his bed, Tax the table at which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor, tax his mule, teach him taxes are the rule.

Tax his cow, tax his goat, Tax his pants, tax his coat.

Tax his work, tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco, tax his drink. Tax him if he tries to think.

Tax his cigars, tax his beers, if he cries, then tax his tears.

Tax his car, tax his gas, find other ways to tax his a--.

Tax all he has, then let him know, That you won’t be done til he has no dough.

Tax him some more. Tax him till he’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin, tax his grave. Tax the sod in which he’s laid.

Put these words upon his tomb, Taxes drove me to my doom.

When he’s gone do not relax, it’s time to apply the inheritance tax.”

I don’t know who wrote that piece, but I suspect he or she was getting consumed at the thought of paying taxes. It can be mind-boggling.

I am certain there are many more taxes that could be added to this list. 

My favorite one in Maryland is the “flush” tax. It is still very difficult for me to believe that our Maryland political friends would find a way to raise more revenue by taxing, well, you know what. I wonder, too, just how much of that revenue actually has gone to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay.

Someone once said that people who complain about paying taxes can be divided into two classes; men and women. I tend to agree.

But perhaps Snoopy’s letter-writing offers us the best advice: “Dear IRS, I am writing to you to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list.”

Sounds like a great idea to me.

Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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