I have the good fortune to make slightly into the six figures in gross income.
We have a quarter-million-dollar mortgage, I max out a 401K, we have three kids, and we're married-filing-jointly with only one income. In other words, we're doing the Right Thing for someone who wants to avoid income tax in the standard middle-class ways.
Still. We don't have any capital losses, we don't give much to charity, and there's nothing that would make our situation really at all atypical.
Nationally, we're fighting two wars (occupying two countries), we're facing an upcoming demographic catastrophe, and the government is going half a trillion dollars in the hole this year alone.
We just did our taxes. Ready for this?
I am paying under four and a half percent of my income
to the IRS as federal income tax.
If the government were running a surplus I wouldn't care. Really, it would be fine with me. I don't like paying more taxes than I have to (it's not like anything I do personally can help, by itself; I obviously prefer having more money to less) and if the government can keep the country together on four percent of my income, hey, that's a great bargain.
But dammit, this is reckless stupidity. If I can afford to pay more, the people who make hundreds of times what I make can certainly afford to pay more. It's their country too. What good will having more money do if the nation collapses? What happens when China decides to stop financing the debt -- or more disquieting still, what happens when they start quietly attaching conditions?
Bad guys are in control and a crash is coming. Like Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2, I'm pouring fuel onto the tarmac and frantically waving torches. What am I going to do? Whatever I can.
A couple thousand dollars won't do jack for the federal government -- not unless everyone in my bracket pays it, and everyone above us pays a lot more. But a couple thousand dollars could make a discernable difference in deciding the course of the future.
When I get my many-thousand-dollar tax refund in a couple months, I'm writing a $2000 check to Kerry.