Saturday, February 18, 2006

Paid to be poor

I always have mixed emotions around tax time. I am not well off. Never have been. I am a former Army sergeant and am now a government employee at pay grade GS-09 step 1. You can find these salaries if you care to look. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and we have three children. I am not well off.

However, I make plenty of money to get by. If I don't buy into instant gratification, I make plenty to live comfortably. It's a matter of priorities and savings. It's taken us some time to figure that out, but lessons hard learned are the ones that stick best, I think.

Ever since I started filing taxes, I have worked it so I got a refund. When it was just the wife and I, we claimed as little deductions as possible to get that return. I understood it was an interest-free loan to the gov't, but I just didn't want to pay. But as we started having children, we started getting more and more money back from the government. To the point where every year I get back more than I pay in -- a lot more. This year it's nearly six times what we paid in, and I claim every dependent I have.

While you never want to complain when anyone gives you money, I have a problem reconciling it with my ethical mind. I didn't earn this money. The gov't basically gives me the greatest return on my loan to them that I'll ever see. I'm going to take it. I'm going to reinvest it in the economy like a good American. Some of it will see savings.

Every time I hear some liberal wacko talking about how taxes are unfair, I know they are. But not in the way they think.

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