15% for All

We filed our taxes this week. The picture on the wall of our tax preparer’s office included the quote: “When the first 1% income tax rate was being debated in 1913, a U.S. Senator opposed to it stated, "If they get away with 1% today, some day it may be raised to as high as 5%!" How lovely would it be today to be capped at 5%? We would even be excited to cap at a certain ex-governor’s 15% if fairly distributed to all tax payers, whether their earnings were by way of nursing a patient bedside or from long-term capital gains.

We know that paying taxes is our legal obligation. And we believe it is a social responsibility to pay taxes to support the common good – our roads, street lights, schools, libraries, fire fighters, and so on. But it is a bit painful to see all in one lump sum the amount of our ‘giving’ to the government for the past year.

In the words of Scottish whisky distiller Lord Thomas R. Dewar (1864–1930) “The only thing that hurts more than paying an income tax is not having to pay an income tax.” Even though the unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, there are still too many unemployed and underemployed and we know we should be grateful that we have income for which to tax. But darn, how fun would it be if the tax rate would be capped at 15% for all?

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