Taxes: A Primer

By Glenn 

Woody Allen once said "the only things certain in life are death and taxes." He was half right. Taxes are a certainty in the United States, the only country to have a formal system for payments to the federal government on a yearly basis. Every year April 15th rolls around and the 50-75 million adult Americans who are here legally and work in the above ground economy all pay their taxes at the same time. The roads are full of people and the lines at the post office are longer than the lines of cocaine people snort the preceding evening. By the end of the day, the federal government has earned enough money to power it through the next fiscal year. All leftover funds are donated to the American Tract Society, recently rated as the "worst charity in America" due to its 68% administrative expenses. Surprisingly, the IRS ranks as one of the most effective charities with administrative expenses now as low as .07% of the total operating budget.

Why do we pay taxes? People on the American right think it's to fund FEMA concentration camps. People on the American left claim its to fund social programs that take care of people and provide public services. People in the American middle do not know what taxes are exactly, but every year they are annoyed at having to file income tax returns. Today I will provide you with a few tax tips and some personal anecdotes about why paying your taxes on time is so important.

History of the Income Tax

The income tax was first established 150 years ago to fund the War of Northern Aggression. Back then, IRS auditors went around on horses and carried muskets, shooting runaway slaves and anyone who dared to cheat Abraham Lincoln's government out of one "red cent." This is actually where the term "red cent" comes from, since so many people were killed opposing the institution of the income tax.

After the disputed election of 1876, the income tax was outlawed as part of the corrupt deal between RutherFRAUD B. Hayes and Southern Democrats like Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich's great grandfather. It was reinstituted by Herbert Hoover as a way to stop the Great Depression and it worked insofar as it established the top yearly tax rate ($100,000+) at 25%. That was a lot of money in 1930 but it's a lot less money now.

Income tax rates have fluctuated wildly over the past few decades, depending on things as scientific to the amount of revenue needed to balance the budget to things as supernatural as how many waxing moons occurred in a fiscal year. In the 1950s the moon waxed incredibly high and the top income tax rate for $100,000/year shot up to roughly 80%. Stop, put down your barium and think about that. Eighty percent. That means if you are paid $100,000 in cash (like I have been for every job I've ever worked), you have to then in turn hand over $80,000 to some wizard designated by the IRS as a private collector. A frightening prospect and I'm not talking about being on the receiving end of a wizard's spell.

Thankfully George HW and George W brought the top tax rate down to 0% and increased the federal gasoline tax to $40/gallon. This led to people less frequently "cruising" the strip in their small, rural town and a clear headed foreign policy towards all oil producing countries. Now taxes remain today at a very reasonable rate that should not cause anyone to throw all of their paperwork in the air with frustration April 15th.

Tax Tips

Save your receipts. You compulsively save everything else in your life and have been fined by the city repeatedly for the old newspapers and Life magazines in your basement. Why should your receipts be any different? If you want, put them in "scrapbook" form, popularized by young women in the 90s and 00s. Make each receipt a special memento of the time you went on a first date, purchased your first handgun or paid your bail bondsman. Yes, paying your bail can count as an itemized deduction later if your job is illegal.

Live in Florida. Besides having elected, arguably, the worst governor of the class of 2010, Florida has the additional benefit of no state income tax. That means all the money LeBron James receives from the Saudi royal family (who own the Miami Heat) can go either to the federal government or his research into cybernetic humans. Florida is rated #1 in the Heritage Foundation's "Best Low Tax States," #5 in the Tea Party Patriots' "Best Weather for a FEMA concentration camp" and #68 in Freedom House's rankings for press freedom. If you take the average of these it has to be somewhere near 15, which is coincidentally also the tax rate percentage at which people quit their jobs and stop earning income because there is no longer a financial incentive to work.

File an extension immediately. We're three days away from the deadline and I haven't done my taxes, haven't requested my W2 and don't even know how to navigate the IRS webpage. That's okay because I put in an extension three months ago that will allow me to file this summer. Filing that extension early means that you can laugh while all of your neighbors are screaming in pain at their tax burden OR rioting in pleasure at their large refund. Plus, if the government collapses after April 15th you still have a bunch of now worthless (in addition to unconstitutional) currency saved up!

I hope you enjoyed this discussion of taxes as much as old white men enjoy protesting against them. Woody Allen once said "taxes are the rent we pay to live in the United States of America." I don't know if that was a statement about white people stealing land from Native Americans, but it's definitely true. We should feel proud every April 15th knowing that the money we pay goes to funding Planned Parenthood, NPR and the humanitarian intervention in Libya. Conversely, we should be ashamed knowing that every refund we get is a bullet through the heart of every woman, radio listener and Benghazi rebel.


  1. This is VERY FUNNY and SMART and why Glenn should WRITE MORE FEATURES!!

  2. This was really good. I am happy to say that I bugged Glenn to write this. He was supposed to post it on Monday, but even a threat of murder couldn't convince him to do that. I did my taxes a couple months ago and spend all of my refund on food.

  3. Tax day is April 18th this year you idiot!

    - other Glenn

  4. If I was still around I would have helped you do your taxes I got mine done on time every year once I became a US citizen

  5. Thanks to Ron Paul, neither death nor taxes are certainties in America's future.


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