Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 1056

Occasionally, I look at the profiles of people who appear on my Google+ stream and become envious of how idyllic their lives seem. Then I look at my own profile and realize that it's not that different from the rest. I guess appearances can be deceiving. I think even the scrupulously honest often put the accent on the positive to avoid depressing those around them. I do this myself sometimes. It's good to have a positive attitude. I just don't always believe you.

The fog was thick as soup when I took the dogs out this morning. I though I'd take a good camera with me on our walk and try to get some pictures before the fog lifted. What a disaster. The big camera around my neck was continually getting tangled in the dog's leashes. When I did find something to photograph, Dash would tug on the leash just as I was pressing the shutter and ruin the shot. If I spent too long looking through the viewfinder, I would inevitably look up to see one of the dogs eating something disgusting at our feet on the ground. I did get a few decent shots, but it was hardly worth the effort. It is much easier to take pictures with a cell phone when you are walking Dalmatians.

I didn't have much better luck trying to find out why the State of Missouri is telling me I owe them money. After sitting on hold for an inordinate amount of time, I finally was able to speak with someone in the state's tax office. They weren't much help. All they could tell me was that they had received a 1099 form with my name on it. They couldn't tell me what I supposedly owed, or why I was on their list. I kept telling the official that I had never lived in the state of Missouri in my life and that I had already paid all my taxes for the year in question anyway. My very rational argument seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Sadly, I think this is the shape of things to come. Government agencies at all levels are strapped for cash and they are getting more and more creative in their attempts to reel in the money they need. I've already noticed that the Dallas County government is quick to raise real estate taxes whenever house values go up, but they are very reluctant to lower taxes when real estate values go down. Income taxes are only a small part of the total picture. Have you looked at your phone bill lately? It's appalling how much of your phone bill goes to pay a bunch of weird hidden taxes. Are you concerned about the price of gas? If you could just get rid of all the taxes they place on gasoline, you could fill your tank for a very reasonable price. I don't think I would mind paying taxes so much if I could control where my money went. I have very little control of where my tax money goes however, and neither do you.

I think this is really what the election is about tomorrow. People want to control where their money goes. Each side has very different ideas of how to spend the tax money we send them. If you don't happen to agree with these ideas, you can start to feel like you vote isn't worth much. It doesn't have to be this way. I'm convinced that if people could decide where their tax money would go when they paid their taxes in the first place, we wouldn't have the divisiveness we are experiencing today. Hey, if you want to fund the military with your taxes, go ahead. If you want to fund social programs, send your tax dollars there. Roads and bridges seem important? That's OK too. If you just let the people decide for themselves where their tax dollars went, a lot of current problems would vanish. Some programs would thrive. Others would vanish. So be it. The people would have spoken. With something this direct and simple, maybe we wouldn't need congress at all.

Coach is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day