Taxes getting more out of hand

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If I hadn’t know the definition before, the phrase “from the ridiculous to the sublime” took on new meaning last week.

You probably remember the very serious date last Tuesday, which is commonly referred to as Tax Day. I envy you if it passed without notice in your neck of the woods.

But in this instance, there was an event that left me speechless, and highlighted the idiocy of this country and government, and the increased yoke we the people have been put under.

My daughter had participated in a medical study which, as these studies go, provided her with a small stipend.

I have no idea if the study went anywhere, and had actually forgotten about it, until Tuesday, when my wife had to run to the Post Office to turn in my daughter’s tax return.

Many of you are probably thinking that that’s normal. To me, it’s not.

My daughter is 12.

I can’t seem to understand how things got so out of hand with government spending that 12-year-olds have to file tax returns — and pay taxes. With the amount of taxes the people of this country on just about everything, you’d think there’s enough income to pay for the country’s outrageous spending habit.

But you’d be wrong.

So I have to ask: Is this where we’re headed? Is there nothing that the government won’t tax, including children? I suppose that makes babysitting and lawn-mowing money fair game, as well.

What happens, then, if the government decides that anything you receive is considered income? It’s not outside the realm of possibility — remember that gift baskets given to presenters at the Oscars had been deemed income — and if you give your child a car as a graduation present, he’ll have to claim in on his taxes.

Currently, the average tax rate for U.S. citizens is 21 percent. Granted, the price of the services we enjoy is paid in taxes, but it seems that the need of the government, which is mired in things it should not be concerned with, is growing, and its appetite for money won’t stop at 21 percent.

That appetite should not grow large enough to consume children. The message sent here will be to make our future generations afraid of income, as it will just become property of the state.

We should teach our children, that is true, but not that they exist simply to feed the government. Given that a second day of note happened last week — Tax Freedom Day, which came two days after Tax Day — it’s time for a reassessment.

•This week’s Headline of Note comes from just a couple hours west — mySA.com had this gem: Baboons used 55-gallon barrel to escape from San Antonio research facility, officials say.

Normally, I chide the news media for its portrayal of the insignificant in order to fill a 24-hour news cycle. In this case, it’s more of a local story; what make it noteworthy is the utter craftiness of the baboons.

Four baboons at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, being kept in an enclosure, rolled a 55-gallon barrel to the wall and used it to escape. They were captured within 30 minutes, but still, it was a remarkable event.

Heck, sometimes I want to roll a barrel to a fence and make an escape.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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