Tuesday, February 3, 2009

does being rich make you stupid?

Why can't rich people pay their taxes? How many have been felled by that simplest, most unavoidable part of American citizenship? Haven't they ever seen the bumper stickers? DEATH and TAXES. Are they worried that if they pay the $128,000 tax bill, they won't have enough to pay their power bill? Don't they know that McDonalds has a Dollar Menu?

Let's do the math. I'm a millionaire. I own houses in New York, Gstaad, and a little winter place in the Bahamas. I eat $4500 dinners and wear $600 socks. I make seven figures a year and I owe $128,000 in taxes. I don't pay. Not because I can't afford it but because it's only a big deal if you get caught. They'll only find out if I'm nominated for some government position and what are the chances of that? Besides, is the IRS really gonna be crippled without my measly $128k?

Now. Say I'm a regular working-class citizen. I own one 1300 square foot house in a small town. I spend $300 per month on groceries for a family of four and I make five figures a year. I owe $700 in taxes. I can't pay because if I do, I can't pay my mortgage. I've always paid my taxes before and I've never even been late. The IRS tacks on interest fees and late penalties that double what I owe, garnishes my bank account and puts a lien on my house. Because, apparently, my $700 is all that's keeping them afloat.

Something is so wrong with this picture.

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