“A person doesn't know how much he has to be thankful for until he has to pay taxes on it.” (Anonymous)
So, it's tax season; everyone who earns a dollar in America is sorting through receipts, counting every penny possible for legal (and even somewhat sketchy) deductions. Sweat dripping on each line of the incredibly complicated tax forms. Suddenly religious, we pray like we've never prayed before, “Please, Lord, please—let me get a refund this year. At least, O Mighty God, let me break even.” These are the high-holy days of mammon.
That being the case, I thought I would offer you a little comfort in levity and reassurance. For instance, Albert Einstein said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” So, you're not alone—Albert stands with you; he didn't understand it either. And this from another Albert (Bushnell Hart), “Taxation is the price which civilized communities pay for the opportunity to remain civilized.” Remember how much you hate those potholes in your road, and that crumbling river bridge that groans ominously when you drive over it—another occasion for reverence and heartfelt prayer. Your taxes may possibly pay for the repair of those in some Utopian future when we actually have a civilized government.
And, we may have to rob a bank to pay the taxes we're assessed, even if we barely made enough money to keep the lights on. Arthur Godfrey weighed in on that scenario: “I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is, I could be just as proud for half the money.” How can you owe $1,000.00 if you live in poverty? Don't ask such questions—you won't like the answers.
And then there's that day you have to take off work, clear the dinning table and spread a year's worth of paper across it. Sort and count and make sure every single dime's worth of expense is accounted for. Stack pages and pages of bills and forms and payments; search for the missing calculator, the missing bank statement, the missing co-pays. Your eyes cross, the dog pees on the floor because you forgot to take him out. What a day! Here's what Dave Berry said about it: “It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.” Yeah, that sounds familiar.
Please don't stab yourself. Just get the deed done. Appreciate that you'll deepened your spiritual life with all that hard praying. I'll say one for you, too.
In the Spirit,