Up until now, and generally speaking in my life, I’ve tried not to be too political about anything. Not too politically minded, not too politically polarized, and certainly not too politically correct. Obviously I had no plans for blogging about anything political. But someone made a comment the other day that has been sort of festering inside me. At the time it was made, I knew I disagreed with it, but like all my best come-backs, I didn’t figure out what I wanted to say about it until at least four days later. And then, I didn’t hone that into my full response until last night.
The discussion topic was taxes. I’ll say for the record, in case you need a reason to stop reading in advance, I did not vote Republican in the last presidential election. However, at my core, I’m definitely more Republican than Democrat. (This is because I believe I am going to be rich one day.) My household currently falls into a tax bracket in which we do not have any income tax withheld from our paychecks and yet have managed to receive a refund for the past couple of years. I hear it is called “credits” and having lots of children is helpful, so I’m still en route to my 4-child family plan because “Yes We Can!” and we will.
So, sometime after April 15th, a discussion arose among myself, some friends, and some strangers, through this question: Do you believe it is fair to get more back in taxes than you paid?
(I do not think it is fair.)
(But I’m also not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.)
I didn’t respond at first, because I wanted to hear what others had to say. I was among a group of women who all have children (big surprise) and had on the whole, mostly benefited from Uncle Sam this year as a result of those children. My non-committal initial comment was, “It is a bit staggering when you think about the fact that only the top 5% of wage earners in America are paying over 50% of the Nation’s taxes.” *Phew. That was safe. No thoughts or feelings one way or another. No one suspects I’m a Republican-in-denial. To this, one woman says something along the lines of: if she was rich enough to be in the top 5% of wage-earners, she’d be happy to pay 60% in taxes because even after that, she’d have more than enough remaining, off which to live. (Note: I’m sure the grammar was not quite so impeccable in her original statement.)
And while this is mostly true, in theory, my internal idiot alarm went off in full force. I couldn’t really muster a response at the time, and because I missed my opportunity, I need to scratch an itch here. I do not think this woman’s sentiments are unique. I think there are a lot of people in the world who believe that having more would create in them a desire to give more of what they have. What I want to say to these people (from behind a wall of anonymity and in the safety of my own home) is, “No. You wouldn’t. If you wouldn’t pay 60% of your income NOW, what makes you think that having more income would change your attitude? It would still be your money. If you can’t give away a little, what makes you think you’d be willing to give away a lot?”
That’s pretty much it. This is the extent of all things political today, and hopefully for a long time. It is probably better that this can of worms remained closed that day.
I’m certainly not proposing any solutions to our economic crisis. I’m not even really trying to stir up trouble with all my bleeding heart democratic friends (of which I have many, and actually like all of them and their hearts very much). In the meantime, I’ll keep squandering away my pennies in a little GOLD jar, preparing for the inevitable collapse of Social Security by the time I’m sixty two and a half. And should Jesus come before that day, I’m glad I got to experience the joys of sex and childbirth. So I’m ready now, Lord.