Work, babies, work, and the debate over Romney’s tax rate (and why I ultimately don’t care)

Jesus, it’s already been like eight days since I posted last? My bad, blags. Lost track of time there.

You’ll all be pleased to know I’ve officially been offered my first paying joke-writing gig. Yup. There’s no more story there; that’s as far as it’s got. But it just goes to show you, if you make a dream collage, and add a little bit to it every day, and hang it over your bed, and then write a really negative blog about things you don’t understand, you can hover dangerously close to mild success!

Otherwise, more tangible jobby stuff has kept me very busy lately. I can’t be 100% positive on the following correlation, but: it seems to me that every time one of my female coworkers has a baby, I end up having to do more work. I don’t, however, get an equivalent portion of their salary, nor do I get to feel like my life experience is expanding with the addition of a new life, because said baby’s got nothing to do with me. My life maintains the exact same ratio of empty : full, only I now have more work to do. While I certainly understand the biological imperative for people to make kids, I also understand my own biological imperative to not be hassled to do someone else’s work. But there’s no law that says you can’t hassle me, and I’m pretty sure there are a few laws about making employees not have kids.

Speaking of working and money, there’s been a lot of media chatter about taxes lately. Sure, I’d like to avoid it, but then people I know like to recite at me the various talking points from both sides and then I really can’t avoid it. And then I get sucked into this whole thing where I develop my own annoying opinion about it, and the cycle continues.

From what I gather, there’s a debate over how much money Mitt Romney paid in taxes, is it less percentage-wise than a lot of middle class taxpayers, etc. Democrats  and fact-checkers seem to assert that the answer to that question is: yes, when you consider overall taxes paid. Republican news channel Fox News has basically said that Romney only paid a lower percentage if you factor in payroll taxes. And now it’s a big debate whether or not you factor payroll taxes into this discussion, or limit it to Federal income tax. (If you’re about to call bullshit on the former link in defense of the latter, please note that the latter article cited the former as a source, after cherrypicking data and making some flavor adjustments to make it more opposite-tasting.)

The answer, of course, is yes, include payroll, because regular people don’t give a shit. Why wouldn’t payroll taxes count? I’m pretty sure that’s most of my tax dollars. Just because I’m a 20-something nobody, doesn’t mean the kind of taxes I pay are negligible.

Let’s say it makes sense to play semantics and only consider one kind of tax in this discussion — payroll taxes.  In 2010 I paid … hmm, well, I don’t have the numbers in front of me. It was definitely a good portion of what I made though, especially if you count the portion my employer paid, but I guess since I don’t have hard numbers prepared, I lack the foundation to make a detailed argument here. Just for kicks though, let’s take a look and see how much Romney paid in payroll taxes in 2010 …

Oh, shit! He didn’t pay any payroll taxes in 2010 because he didn’t declare any wages or salary! I definitely paid more than that! Not even percentage-wise, but in actual dollar amount! If you divided the amount I paid in payroll tax in 2010 by the amount Mitt Romney paid in payroll tax in 2010, you would get an undefined number, which has no meaning in ordinary mathematics, because you can’t divide by zero and get a real number.

Obviously, going purely by payroll tax is a stupid way to compare how much I paid vs. how much Romney paid. So is going purely by income tax.

Ultimately, I don’t begrudge Romney for possibly paying a lower tax percentage than I do. The fact that that’s the way the law works is kind of amazing, and it would be aggravating even if he pays the same, or a little more than I do. But whatever, that’s life, and life is usually unfair and shitty. But I’m definitely not going to waste any time feeling bad for people better off than me. Except for Mitt Romney, as I detailed in the last post. Not because he’s rich, though. There’s just something about his face.


Man, I hate writing about politics — it’s so TAXing! Ha ha ha ha!



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4 Responses to Work, babies, work, and the debate over Romney’s tax rate (and why I ultimately don’t care)

  1. creeped says:

    Congrats on the writing job! Any more details?

  2. Mardiana says:

    Logical perhaps. Naive’ dtnifieely. We had no graduated income taxes up until the 20th Century. Thanks to Senator Nelson Aldrich, working on behalf of world bankers, we got both income tax and the Federal Reserve (which in spite of it’s name, is not owned by the government).Over the years, our “honorable representatives” have gone on an ever increasing irresponsible spending spree. They’ve “borrowed” from Social Security, which the government accounting office has predicted will go bust in 2014, unless taxes are raised or benefits cut.The eye-popping $9 trillion gross national debt is owed by the “General Fund.” That’s the part funded by our income taxes. Half of that goes for the military and to pay interest on the debt. Not too many bright clouds ahead there. The government is a hungry beast, which is never satiated. Each year, the amount of time you have to work just to pay your taxes (Tax Freedom Day) gets later in the year.Your question seems to derive from a concept of fairness. Nothing is fair about government. “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” Frederic Bastiat

    • BLAG says:

      “Your question seems to derive from a concept of fairness.”

      1. I didn’t ask a question.
      2. My conclusion was: “But whatever, that’s life, and life is usually unfair and shitty.”
      3. I’m not sure you actually read this — I wasn’t defending income taxes, I was saying they’re just as real as payroll taxes.
      4. This whole blog is basically a goof.
      5. This story is pretty old news.

      If you like soapboxing, though, might I suggest starting a blog yourself? You can do it for free via WordPress, or Tumblr might be up your alley.

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