There's been a whole lot of misdirected talk about bitterness lately. You want to meet someone who's really bitter?
Glad to meet you. My name is Brian. I just mailed my tax payments today.
Speak to me, Barack. Let me know you feel my pain, Hillary. Are you on my side, John?
Not just mine. Ours. All the individuals who are paying a bigger share of the tax burden, while corporations are paying much less.
Yesterday's article in Parade magazine ("Are You Paying for Corporate Fat Cats?") was beautifully timed for maximizing tax-day bitterness.
A 2004 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that 61% of American corporations, including 39% of large companies, paid no corporate income taxes between 1996 and 2000. Last year, corporations shouldered just 14.4% of the total U.S. tax burden, compared with about 50% in 1940.
While companies are getting off easy, thanks to loopholes, ordinary wage earners are getting stuck with the tab. The tax burden on individuals is expected to climb from $1.16 trillion in 2007 to $1.21 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), while corporate tax receipts are expected to decline from $370 billion to $364 billion. By 2013, the CBO estimates, ordinary taxpayers' bills may climb to $1.86 trillion while corporate tax bills drop to $327 billion.
I was walking down the sidewalk today, about to stick my tax stuff in a mail box, when I had the foresight to thumb through the stack of envelopes. No stamps on my U.S. Treasury and Oregon Department of Revenue payments.
Must have been a manifestation of subconscious resistance, since I'd stamped other mailings.
For most of my life I haven't been bothered by paying taxes. Government services are important. Much, if not most, of the time, government spends money more wisely than individuals do.
But that time isn't now, sadly. Not after eight years of George Bush/Republican wastefulness.
Deficits are soaring. Spending is way up. Money is being thrown down the tubes. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
And trillions of dollars are being spent on the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Three trillion, to be semi-exact. Close enough for government work.
Check out the Three Trillion Dollar Shopping Spree. See what your tax dollars could have bought, other than a war started under false pretenses and continued under massive incompetence.
Universal health care for every American. Plus a lot more. A heck of a lot more.
So, yes, I'm bitter. I've got a right to be. As do you.
Remember April 15 next November 4. We've got to do some changing.