Paying Taxes: Are We All Hypocrites?
So there have been a lot tax scandals involving politicians recently—I’m talking about the drama of Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle. Both men supposedly “forgot” to pay taxes on certain items (a limousine was one of them I believe) and it almost cost Geithner his job. Daschle, on the other hand, didn’t make it—he got fired.
Lots of people have written about this and most of the articles I’ve read are angry about it. It’s understandable—these guys are making tons and tons of money, so why don’t they pay the taxes they owe? It’s the same level of hate that CEOs and other rich people see coming their way whenever they do something similar.
The pattern seems to work something like this: if you’re rich and you try to get out of paying your taxes, then you are a tax cheat and deserve to jailed and barred from re-entering humanity.
And humiliated in the papers.
Which, you know what? I can understand that. I can sympathize. Maybe I don’t feel as strongly about it as a lot of people do, but I get it: it’s frustrating when the people that are already rich try to get away with stuff to make them even richer. Even Warren Buffett would agree.
Meanwhile, we’re struggling to make ends meet and try to carve out a better life for ourselves. All the while, dutifully paying our taxes.
Well, sort of. This is where I see some hypocrisy with the people that get so angry and direct such harsh words towards these rich tax evaders. Most of them want to pay as little in taxes as possible.
There are online boards filled with people talking, asking questions, posting loopholes, and trying to squeeze as much as they can out of their tax return. They don’t want to pay their taxes either.
Granted, it’s on a different scale, but otherwise it’s the same concept. Why don’t you just pay what you owe and be done with it if you’re so hardcore about the rich paying theirs?
Just because they’re making more (and thus “saving more” on their taxes), doesn’t make it any worse than any of us “cheating” on our taxes.
I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve asked questions and gone online trying to find a way to pay less in taxes. We all do, to some extent.
If I was filthy rich, I’d hire someone I trust to do my taxes and I’d tell them, “Do whatever it takes for me never to be in trouble. No mistakes. Just pay what I owe. Or else…”
That’s just me though.
This post has been included in the Don’t Mess With Taxes Carnival.