Stumbling through the rain with a ridiculously large umbrella and two gloriously stuffed envelopes under my coat, I opened the hatch of that blue steel box and mailed my tax returns away. Away, I say!
What a mess. Last year, I lived in Maryland and Michigan, worked in Michigan and Maryland, but not Washington, DC, collected non-taxable income, collected taxable income, and moved three times. Not to mention my loving but misleaded parents (again!) claimed me as a dependent, at the age of 23, so we'll see how that goes over with the IRS.
Speaking of the IRS, I'm a little peeved with them right now. In fact, an entire slieu of government agencies have gotten on my bad side in the last few weeks.
Now, before my rampage, let me reiterate that I don't align with any political party, and I don't believe that taxes are bad. Especially not when they go towards schools and public works and subsidized housing. So, it's not the IDEA of taxes, it's how they're used.
Let me begin with everyone's best friend in that stab-you-in-the-back junior high kind of way:
1. The IRS
My taxable income was less than $25,000 this year. I told the IRS to just take it. Take as much money as you want right now and I will just collect on my tax refund. I'm single, I have no kids, no obligations, cheap rent. This was a huge mistake. In addition to all that money that they (State and Federal) took out this year, they asked for an ADDITIONAL 3%. That's $750, kids. Last time I try to be straight-forward.
2. The FDA and USDA
What a monstrosity. Our food regulation system is so effing kaput. Peanut butter, spinach, tomatoes, and now PISTACHIOs. I hate you, food regulation system. If we're going to be readjusting our spending, why don't we help the FDA out on that whole Food side. Or, better yet, let the FDA dissolve into the MDRA - Medicinal Drug Regulation Administration and let the USDA dissolve into the AMPMA - American Meat Products Marketing Administration. Take the remaining pot and start an unbiased consumer-focused regulatory administration that will actually prevent salmonella outbursts instead of just mention them in a weekly news release.
3. The SBA
This narrow-minded beaurocratic nightmare focuses on government agencies not meeting Small Business contracting goals, and Small Business loans. While I think they have their motives, these efforts have no traction. Loans for start-ups? In this economy? How about resources and training on how to grow and diversify to become more resistant to recessions. Instead of giving scorecards and tssk tssk's to agencies not meeting the Small Business goal, why don't you give them a list of small business market research firms that they can contract with to grow their programs and include new businesses?
And on that note, every day I become more of an anarchist. Today is no different.
For now, I'll anxiously await news from the IRS. With any luck, I'll get a mysterious anonymous phone call, and a man on the other end with a calm, deep voice will say:
Congratulations on filing your taxes, you sheep.
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