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Archive for April 16th, 2010

Tax day

Tax day is here. This is a yearly ritual in the U.S.

I think it is one of the few days where most people get intimate with what they earn, and the ensuing effort that it takes to produce a tax return.

Apart from the fact that doing the work is not rewarding and that it is easy to feel that one is paying too much, I think that the whole exercise is beneficial: people should know how much they are paying the government. I have been in other places where everything is so automated that one just forgets the whole thing and it is as if taxes never happened and when they change people don’t really find out. They also don’t feel the yearly sense of shock about the experience.

In the end, taxes are paying for services that a lot of people here take for granted. For example roads, a working post office, law enforcement and education for their children. They also pay for Social Security and Medicare: some of the most costly entitlement programs that no politician can risk to touch without a backlash from their constituency.

It is also one of the few days where a lot of people get intimate with arithmetic (for a change). It always surprises me how many people seem to have trouble doing this activity, just because they don’t understand addition and substraction (and percentages). Oh well! I’m not going to worry about it.

in the end, like a lot of other people, I filed my taxes at the last minute. I wonder what the statistic of us, last minute filers, really is; as well as the reasons why.

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