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Monday, April 8, 2002

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Tax evader

I received a call at work today from our tax evader. He'd already sent us a sheaf of forms that he wanted us to fill out before he would fill out our W9. He said these were valid according to the law and he gives all kinds of references and laws. Our tax person said they were junk. I knew we weren't going to get his tax id number but his first sentence confirmed it when he said that he did not pay taxes to the godless government. Okey, dokey. I told him this would be no problem but we would have to withhold 30% so he's going to be paying anyway.

We get one or two of these a year. He was nice about it if a little condescending and self righteous. We had one a few years ago who came in and yelled at us for violating his sovreignty. I sympathize with them since I don't like paying taxes either but there's no other way a society as complex as ours will keep going. I do think we pay way too many taxes for things the government shouldn't be paying for or subsidizing or whatever. Of course, my list of what isn't necessary isn't going to match the next person's list.

I prefer the government pay for something that can be used by everyone such as education, transportation (both roads and transit), law enforcement, national defense, etc. I also probably disagree with the next person as too just what sort of education, transit, etc., our taxes should pay for. Health insurance is still difficult for me because it can be so easily abused but I think everyone needs access to decent health care.

Such difficult choices! I got day care assistance and am very grateful that I did. I think that if we want people to be able to work we have to help them get started and, especially for women, that means day care. It means transit for a high percentage of low income/starting job people. It means affordable housing. So how do we spend our money? Do we give it to a single mother so she can stay home with her small children, which is good, or do we give it to the working mother so she can afford to work, or do we help the family where neither parent makes enough to either quit working or afford day care. All of these are good things but we haven't managed to figure out how to help people and yet not make them dependent on government handouts. We haven't figured out how to differentiate between parasites and people who really need help and will be grateful for it and will eventually, hopefully, not need it.

This is so hard for me when I am basically a libertarian at heart but my head knows it ain't going to work.

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Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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