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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Another US tax day has come and gone

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Well yet another tax day has come and gone. And to be honest, it's not the most pleasant day of the year.

But not all of us view tax day with hesitation. Some in fact, recognize that tax day is their financial bonanza of the year.

When the final figures are compiled, it will show that nearly 60 million Americans were non-payers on tax day. Most of those folk - 96 percent in the most recent calculation - made under $50,000 annually.

So of the 143 million tax returns that were filed, only 85 million American actually had a bill due. That means 41 percent of the population paid no federal income taxes.

But because of tax credits - primarily the Earned Income Credit - the IRS used your taxes to refund $105 billion to filers who paid no taxes.

This Presidential campaign is obsessed with taxes and the rates that Americans pay.

Well the numbers are what they are.

If you made less than $50,000, your tax rate was 3.5 percent. If you made over $50,000, your tax rate was 14.1 per cent.

And for the top earners - those making over $250,000 annually - the effective tax rate was 23.4 percent.

So it boils down to the issue of fairness, our President tells us.

OK, so just how do you define fairness?

If your goal is a redistribution of the wealth in this country, you tax the top earners even more and then you slide those funds to those who earn less.

You penalize achievement and you reward others.

The dependent population in this country is growing daily. And without major adjustments to entitlements, that trend will continue to grow.

When we reach the point where more of the population is dependent on the achievement of the producers, then what is to stop that momentum from reaching the point of no return?

Like many others, I complain about my tax liability and wish I had more of my earned income to spend on those things I choose. But I also recognize that a society needs a portion of that income to fund the essentials of that society.

What I abhor is taking my limited means and providing to those who make the decision to wait for others to provide for their needs.

It goes without saying that all of us want to assure that safety net for those truly in need. But at the same time we can all cite examples of lifestyle choices being financed with our sacrifices and efforts.

And that doesn't sit well.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen