This is the most favorite time of the year for me and my family even better than Christmas. The truth is Christmas always costs me money whereas this little happy event in March or April is when I get money free money instead of having to dole it out.
And who is the Santa Clause that gives out this money? Why the IRS, of course. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of people that complain about the IRS but I think the IRS folks are wonderful and these complainers are just trying to make trouble. Just think, when you are all down in the dumps after spending way too much for the holidays and just trying to keep the house warm and the car running and you’re up to your tonsils in bills, along comes the IRS and sends you this nice check, just in the nick of time!
But we are not going to waste it all on paying bills. No, the real benefit of the IRS refund check is to buy something that you always wanted but just couldn’t afford. Like one of them monstrous 54 inch big screen TVs with dual picture and instant replay. While the wife wanted a dish washer and the kids wanted a computer, I figure that the monster TV is something the whole family can enjoy. With the dual receiver screen she can check the weather without me missing any of the football game (she’s always worrying about tornadoes and such. She says it is a scientific fact that these “manufactured homes” attract tornadoes like a dead dog on the side of the road attracts buzzards.)
Let me tell you why I think that IRS’s refund scheme is such a good idea. First off, the money is a gift as far as I can tell. Yeah, I know my check stub says that so much was deducted for this and so much was deducted for that. But how can there be a deduction from something I ain’t never had? What goes on between the payroll people down at the plant and the government is their business and way too complicated for me to figure out. The only thing that matters to me after the little deduction they take out for my loan is the amount my check is made out for. I can’t lay claim to anything I never had or even ever saw, as far as that goes.
The next nice part about the way they operate is that they save this money for me all year and don’t charge me anything for doing it. Sure, I know that I could set up a savings plan at the bank and practically do the same thing. But you and I know that scheme would not work. Unlike the IRS, the bank will not guarantee not to give you the money, no matter what, until the next Spring. If your kid got sick or your outboard motor froze up, the bank would surely give you the money if you told them about your problems. But not the IRS. No matter what, they hold on to it. Why they would probably shoot you before they would give any of it up. I know of no other way to get this kind of service.
Of course it would be nice if the refund check was a little bigger. It never seems to be quite enough for the big ticket items we are always wanting to buy, including this year’s monster TV. But there’s ways to fix that, I found out. While listening to the boys at the plant brag about how big their refund checks will be this year, I heard one the smarter ones say that he knows a way to make the check even bigger. He says that all you got to do is tell the payroll people that you want them to set aside an extra chunk of money each month and send it to the IRS. I reckon it can be any amount you want. I’m going to check this out but I don’t reckon I can afford very much as the wife is already having to work a part time job for us to get by. But it would be a terrific way to save if you can spare losing a little each month.
I hate to hear people whine about paying taxes to the government. According to me, we get a lot more back than we pay for. My kids get free schooling and free lunches. Keeping all them potheads in prison and fighting all them wars much cost a bunch too. Thank goodness they don’t send us a bill every time they have to stomp the poop out of some communists like Castro and Noriega. And can you imagine what it would cost me if I had to build my own road to drive to work on? I could go on, but if you are any good at arithmetic, you should be able to see what a deal we get. And on top of that, when I retire, they are going to send me a pension check for the rest of my life that didn’t cost me nothing!
Yep, you heard right, in spite of all this whining on the TV news about Social Security about to go belly up and everything not being on the up and up, the truth is it don’t cost nothing so you got nothing to complain about whatever they can give you. I don’t claim to be a Einstein at arithmetic either, but any moron can understand this one. Here’s how it goes for you that can’t figure things out for yourself. Your check stub says they take out a certain percentage for FICA (which stands for “Social Security” but I don’t have time to explain that to you right now). But, I am told on good authority that the employer exactly matches this deduction. Now we are not talking complicated math here but for you that when God was handing out brains, you thought he said trains and caught one, here is the formula: they take out -7.65 percent from you; then the boss man has to kick in +7.65 percent to your account. Add the two together. If you don’t make any mistake you should get 0. ZERO! So what’s all the fuss about? Just a bunch of whiners is all I can figure.
Well I hope this will help to make up for all the bad-mouthing that the IRS gets. And I hope that my tips on how to have a bigger refund check will allow you to have a wonderful Christmas in April.
Who is available if Dr. von Mises needs another fair to midling writer. . .
March 26, 2000
Leon Felkins is a retired Engineer, Army officer and former teacher of Computer Systems. He now maintains a web page on Political Philosophy, "A Rational Life", and another on the history of politics, "Political Almanac."