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April 29, 2011 - John Stack

I got a letter in the mail today. It was from NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. Now, last year my agency merged into Tax and Finance, but I could tell this wasn’t a welcome note. It had about 10 pages in it. After opening it, quick scanning showed the words ‘please remit’ and ‘pay this amount – $56.08’. Shoot. It seems like I underpaid my taxes this year. Wait. No. That’s not it. There is something here for $105 from 2008, but it says I don’t owe that anymore. Ah. I see it I owe $56.08 form the tax year ending…wait for it…12/31/01. That’s not a misprint. Two thousand and ONE. They had tacked on 11 dollars in interest and penalties, so it was originally $45. Now, almost ten years later someone realizes I owe $45? It probably cost twice that much just to research this. Then to verify it. Send it to me, and then process it when I return it. Are you kidding me? We have a $130 BILLION dollar budget, we have fanaciers in NYC raping the US for trillions of dollars and getting a slap on the wrist, and they sic an accountant on me for a tax bill that is 10 years old for 45 bucks? I wonder if I’ll have some police officer at my door in 5 years when they find out I didn’t pay tax on the 50 cents cup of lemonade I bought from the 6 year old down the street back in 2008. (I bet she squeals on me because I didn’t leave a tip…)

Yesterday I reposted this on Facebook – ‘Remember when teachers, public employees, unions, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses and paid no taxes? Yeah. Me neither.’ Regardless how you feel about any of the topics, it is a poignant reference. Just a couple weeks ago, the US government nearly shut down because they hadn’t agreed on a budget, and were fighting about an temporary bill to keep the government going. Wow. Must have been some big differences right? Well, no. The GOP did extract 10 Billion in cuts (but not including my $56!). Wow, then it must have been something gigantic like dismantling the UN. No, it was about giving federal funds to Planned Parenthood (you know, the place where 97% of the services provided have nothing to do with abortion, like rape kits and cancer screenings).

Now the next round of raising the debt limit comes. Everyone in Washington is in agreement that we must do this, to make sure our currency stays the strongest in the world, our credit stays triple A and we don’t default on any loans. It’s a no brainer. President Obama has asked for a clean bill, meaning one that doesn’t have unrelated amendments and riders and such attached. Ha ha! Who is he kidding! Both the GOP and Democrats say that won’t happen. Rather than recognizing that not passing this law would have catastrophic financial consequences for the US and the world, and therefore not messing with it, both parties are going to try to tack on everything they can. So, rather than get their pet prejudices through using acceptable bureaucratic methods, ram it through on this, because it has to pass!

Point is, most of what we hear about from Washington has to do with small potatoes. NPR funding. Planned Parenthood. What do we not hear much about? $4 billion a year in oil subsidies. How and what tax cuts will somehow reduce 14 trillion in debt. How we are going to make up a trillion in debt because of the tax cuts extended earlier this year. Why we should raise some taxes or not. Farm subsidies. True Medicaid reform. How we can make health Care reform more palatable to ecveryone.

Instead, we get unions fighting to keep their $450,000 school superintendents and the need to pay a union electrician 50 bucks an hour to bring your briefcase 30 yards across a convention hall in Chicago. As the GOP still fans the flames about Obama’s birth certificate (is that ever going to go away?) and making it illegal to discuss Darwin or Homosexuality in schools. How about we start working on taking care of the big fish and letting the guppies problems be second page news.


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