Think your tax rates are too low? That failure to increase taxes last year was unfair? Not to worry, you have at least 3 options that can assuage your guilt. Sincerely. But first, some background:
Every so often we hear from a billionaire or someone worth $25 million or more that they believe tax rates should have increased for the the wealthiest Americans this year (a small but vocal percentage). Their rationale is usually “I don’t need a tax cut”. I think if you surveyed the people who say this the vast majority of them are earning millions a year, and have a net worth of $10 million or greater, yet the core question in the fourth quarter last year revolved around raising taxes on singles earning $200,000 and couples earning over $250,00 a year.
I contend that a very small number of people in the $200-800,000 a year category supported a tax increase, while a higher percentage (but likely still not anywhere near a majority) of those earning $1-100 million may have supported the increase.
For those of you whose taxes didn’t go up because of the Bush extensions, and who think this was wrong, here are a few options for you:
1. Use one of the many tax calculators available on the Web to see how much last year’s tax bill saved you for this year, and send the IRS a check for that amount. The address to mail your check, made out to the “IRS”, is “Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Kansas City, MO, 64999”. Just note on your check your social security number as well as the statement “voluntary overpayment to reduce deficit”.
2. Go to www.giveitbackforjobs.org and calculate your approximate savings, and then donate that amount to the charities suggested on their web page. This is an excellent tool for those of you who believe you don’t donate enough to the needy through charitable donations and taxes, but believe the government is inefficient and therefore you would rather send what you would have paid in additional taxes directly to charity. (Note: Most legitimate charities have 10% or less overhead costs, and 90% or more of donations get directly to the needy. What do you think the government’s overhead cost is for the portion they spend on social programs? Scary thought, isn’t it? If 50% gets to the needy I would be surprised).
3. Simply increase your charitable donations to your favorite charities by the amount the failure to raise taxes saved you.
I would say this. Anyone, and I mean anyone, in the $200/250k or above earnings range that supported raising taxes should exercise one of the above 3 options. This would give them some grounds to keep criticizing the government for not raising taxes on the rest of us in these earnings categories. If they don’t (and I believe most of them won’t), they should sit down, be quiet, and quit telling people like me who already work 9 months a year for the government what should be done with the money we earn for our families.
A few important principles of mine:
1. It’s not about raising taxes, it’s about reducing spending.
2. The government works for us, we don’t work for the government.