So lately, I've been spending a LOT of time studying. Think: 25 hours per week or more.
And this week I've been studying tax shelters. Yes, boring.
But I learned something you might find interesting, and I heard a thought that could have serious implications for the U.S. Government.
This is especially relevant here as the tax deadline for FY2012 draws nearer.
So let's recap what we know about the United States Government, the IRS, and the Obama Administration.
1. The U.S. Government is really bad with money. Think: freshman girl in (community) college with a credit card and a shoe addiction.
2. The IRS LOVES money and loves taking it from the people who work for it. Think: previously mentioned freshman girl's hoodrat boyfriend who will do anything so his "soulmate" can have all the shoes she so desperately needs.
3. The Obama Administration has taken up a moral stance nearer to the definition of relativism than any I've ever seen. Think: previously mentioned freshman girl's "Christian" roommate who says "as long as you're having fun, you can do whatever you want.. it's not like anyone's getting hurt or anything." (AKA: Truth doesn't exist. (Allow me to be extreme for argument's sake.))
In my post on Marriage, I mentioned that with the entire institution of Marriage on a slippery slope, one might eventually come to wonder why, if men and women can become married and enjoy the love of wedded bliss for six months and then completely forget about those vows fresh off the altar, and men can marry men, I shouldn't be allowed to marry my first cousin, sibling, or even parent.
The Obama Administration wants to please the American public. And same sex marriage is certainly en trend, so why not? It's not like it'll hurt anyone, right? But here's the thing: the government cares much more about money than it does about pleasing the people. After all, this is a democracy... So the Obama Administration is allllll about same sex marriage, but can they see past the end of their noses at the freight train that's right around the bend?
In our country, we have both progressive and regressive taxes. Progressive taxes increase according to certain breakpoints, regressive taxes are the same for everyone. Income and sales tax, respectively, are progressive and regressive. Regressive are named so because they are "felt more" by those with a smaller amount of wealth. Sales taxes take up more of their total wealth. People with a higher income are taxed more on the additional dollars they make over and above certain thresholds sorta... that's the easiest way to explain it. Either way, the maximum tax bracket on an American's income is 39.6%. Ouch. (Most of us don't have to worry about that though.)
Let's play a little game of Life. We all know what it means to live the "American Dream." You own your own home, you have perfect 1.9 children (1 boy and .9 girl, of course) and you are in debt up to your eyeballs. (Well, that's the part they leave out.) Eventually you get that debt paid off and you can start doing a rare form of money usage called saving. You put it into a Roth IRA for yourself, and one for your wife, so the money can grow tax-deferred! Great! The kids go off to college, your wife finds that material accumulation and keeping up with the Jones's just doesn't appeal to her like it used to. Plus, you've put in 40 years at your company so they finally start paying you the big bucks. So you start saving more, because... you just can't think of what else to do with it. And then your wife dies. And everyone's surprised because they forgot that people die. So you inherit that once little Roth. And guess what? She was your spouse, so you don't have to pay a dime in taxes on it! Yippee!! But then you die. And guess what? Your estate taxes are progressive. So those big bucks you were making, and all that money you worked your whole life to save are taxed again at YOUR income tax bracket. Is that the kind of legacy you want to leave? Forty percent of your assets to a little charity known as the Government?
I didn't think so. But wait, there's more!! See, you could just marry your son, and then he'd be your spouse... so you know what he'll pay on your estate? NOTHING! And you know who's PISSED? Yup, the IRS.
So I hope the government is happy with it's decision to stand behind same sex marriage. We'll see how long this lasts before they decide to ban marriage all together, at least for tax purposes.
St. Patrick, pray for us.