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A Taxing Situation: Happy April 15

The Ides of March may have been unlucky for Julius Caesar but here's hoping the Ides of April aren't unlucky for the rest of us. April 15. Tax day.

Last year we were among those people at the Post Office late at night, waiting in line to send off our tax returns. This year My Lovely Wife got it done early. Well, not that early. Last night.

It was sometime around 1 a.m. -- after filling out all those forms, writing in all the little boxes, calculating various deductions -- that she decided what this country needs is a flat tax. Wouldn't that be simpler?

Maybe, but good liberal that I am, I think that's a bit unfair. Ten percent to a rich person is probably easier than 10 percent to a poor person. Still, it's funny how viewpoints can change. I didn't see anything wrong with an inheritance tax -- soak the wealthy! -- until my wife inherited some money.

Of course, one way to avoid all this tax-time angst is to just not pay taxes, as more people seem to be doing. Tax defiers, the IRS calls them.

Maybe the IRS and local agencies should allow some Americans to exempt themselves from paying taxes. You could save yourself a little money. However, if you were discovered using something paid for with taxes -- an interstate, say, or a library -- you would have to pay a fine or go to jail.

And if America was ever invaded by a foreign power the U.S. Army would just stand by as the enemy lobbed grenades at your house. Your tax dollars, not at work.

So, pay up. It may not be the most pleasant check you write each year but it's the price of living in America.

By John Kelly  |  April 15, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
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I LOVE Tax Day - it's my birthday! (It doesn't get old, even at 34!)

Posted by: suzannepdc | April 15, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

For the defiers, not a fine or jail, just a bill for their share of whatever service they use. That is, if they use the interstate, their bill would be the cost of all the interstates divided by 200 million or whatever the current population figure is. Same thing with the Army. Let their home be defended for 1/200millionth of the defense budget, etc.

Posted by: reddragon1 | April 15, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, John- your view of the flat tax seems to assume that the rich pay their fair share versus the poor under the current system. Not so, and by the way, get an accountant, for goodness sake. Their fee is deductable!

Posted by: mfromalexva | April 15, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Ides of April is the 13th.

Posted by: Epigon | April 16, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

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