Arts & Culture » Juice

Tax burdens



This April 15 is both Easter and Income Tax Day, the time when Jesus rose from the grave and many of us wish we were dead.

Normally I don't object to paying my taxes because I'm a happy American and have never minded kicking in money for the keg if I get to go to the party. But thinking about the things we pay our taxes for, things like police, roads, education and the salaries of elected officials, well, I've never actually used the police, the roads in Central Florida are as crammed and backed up as an old person's large intestine, public school wasted the flower of my youth (I've never used algebra, not once), and as for elected officials, the guy running the country was not the one most of us wanted.

The worst part of tax time is realizing that the very concept of taxing people for working hard and doing well is like taking points off a student's test score the more questions they get right. Whatever your income, you'd have to be in a coma not to resent that. And I know I have the Big Bush tax cut to look forward to, which I think I've read will bring me about $1.50 a month over the course of the next 10 years. Pinch me. With tax, that's not enough for a cup of Starbucks.

Minus signs

Minus signs

What I'd really love to see happen would be to tax the people who are the most taxing. Along the lines of what Edina Monsoon suggested on Absolutely Fabulous -- "Just tax the stupid people" -- I'd like to see people exponentially pay for how many headaches they cause, how many cases of road rage they inspire or just because they're generally a pain in the ass, as opposed to how hard they work. For example, instead of taxing you a percent of your salary because you're trying to support yourself, your eBay habit, your dreams of getting ahead or your decadent liquor-fueled lifestyle, let's charge all of the following people one million dollars (to be said exactly like Dr. Evil would say it) for each of the following acts, which are very taxing on all of us:

*People who think that being a rich, spoiled daddy's boy means never having to say you're sorry -- even if it means starting big trouble with a nuclear superpower.

* People who have the bass on their car stereo turned up louder than the Big Bang.

*Those who, when you mention a minor ache, offer a story about how they had something similar that required surgery, scarring and two years of recovery and they still aren't quite the same, "but that was just me, yours is probably nothing."

* People who continue to make small talk at you even though your eyes are glazed over and you've backed halfway down the block in what is clearly an attempt to escape.

*Any filmmaker who employs curly-top child actress Hallie Kate Eisenberg to speak in the voice of Jack Palance or any other crusty old actor.

*Anyone who thinks they're going to start saying, "You are the weakest link, goodbye," as a catch-phrase, even for a second.

*People who make commercials in which toilet paper speaks.

*Doctors and other professionals who overbook appointments and keep you waiting an eternity, because their time is very valuable while yours is not.

*People who write commercial jingles that actually hurt to listen to.

*People who hire phone solicitors.

*People who think "Why don't you ever call me?" is going to make you want to call them.

*Drivers whose vehicles sport decals of anyone peeing on anything.

*Anyone who causes an accident while talking on the phone.

*Those quick to point out the sexism, racism or other -isms in someone else while simultaneously holding the view that "Anyone who watches football is an idiot."

Pay the penalty

*People who ride a bike for their health -- directly into the path of your car.

*Whoever had the bright idea to make coach airplane seats "recline," as though that were so much more comfortable, while it gives the passenger directly behind the recliner exactly 5 inches of personal space during what may be a 10-hour flight

*Pro-lifers who have yet to adopt anybody.

*Anyone who had a hand in making up the current tax code.

True, these guidelines are a little arbitrary and personal, but after you go through all your receipts, nothing will seem crazier than the system that's in place. The only crack of light after tax day is knowing that if some people believe a guy can rise from the dead, you might be able to believe that your bank account can, too.


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