Thursday, April 11, 2013

What You Need to Know Before Tax Day April 15, 2013

Teaching my grandson how to play War [the card game] brought back many childhood memories of rainy summer afternoons. My friends and I would play War for hours until one or both of us got tired of it at which point we ended the game to do something else. I don’t remember ever finishing a game of war. Pondering Tax Day 2013, the game of War felt like a metaphor or at least a simile.

I was reminded of  War, the card game because in response to my last year’s post'tWeGetAnItemizedBill!, I received a message from Amy Clark requesting that I look at the on-line video Well, go ahead and take a look. It may explain things to you. They tried to make it understandable by taking an average salary of $43,000 per year and projecting a lifetime Federal tax expenditure of $345,000. They estimate that person will draw more than they pay in Social Security and Medicare- $417,000.

www.onlinemba may be right, but I feel that their argument will not resonate with a large portion of our population. Unless someone’s tax dollars go in part for Head Start, public education, and higher education, some people may never have the opportunity to work at jobs in which they pay in that much. Besides, for those families living from paycheck to paycheck, finding out that they may get more in retirement than they pay in is cold comfort.

Last year, I wanted an itemized bill. At that point, my husband and I had paid $24,000 for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan according to an average estimate and I wasn’t happy about continuing to pay for this. The human costs of the war were of course way too high but that needs to be the subject of a whole other article.
This year, I tried to look up the updated monetary cost and there were many divergent estimates. On the numbers kept ticking to the point that I couldn’t keep up. The ticking numbers hurt my eyes. According to the Center for Strategic And International Studies, the OMB estimates we’ve spent 198.2 billion on those wars in Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. Wickipedia’s article estimates $3.2-3.4 trillion altogether and a Reuter’s article estimates $3.7 million. Whichever estimate is correct, I believe that my share is too much. With the war in Iraq supposedly over except for the contractors and the Afghanistan War winding down, surely we have some money left over for Head Start, education, and other social safety net programs such as Food Stamps and Medicaid. If we don’t invest in people during the earlier stages of their lives, they may never live to pay those taxes. It’s time to end this game of war including the contractors’ involvement and to play something else. How about school?









No comments: