An Uneasy Relationship

I spent 99.9 % of my working career as a public servant. I knew I’d never be rich, but I would be comfortable…and I am. I did my income taxes for 2010 and at one point was surprised to realize that even though I quit working for a living in September, my total income for the year went up! The reason for this is because this taxable year was the first year I collected social security, opting to take it and run at age 65. I’m pretty much a fatalist when it comes to decisions like that. Why wait another year, or two, or five when I can have something now. “Who know what tomorrow may bring” is one of my mottos with a mindset that rationalizes if I’m going to drop dead while eating this fabulous dinner in this magnificent restaurant, by God I’m going to go drinking the good wine! Anyway back to taxes…I finished the process and just stared at the projected amount of money I owe my government. Time to move to Switzerland…how could this be? Simple, I eventually realize. When I signed up for social security, I never requested to have any estimated federal tax taken from the pittance received representing all those of years trying to serve citizens of both New York and Florida. I reviewed all the documentation I ever received and could find nowhere, I say nowhere, any mention of suggested taxes withheld. I have never complained about paying my fair share, nor did I ever complain when taxes increased to pay for necessary and wanted services for the community. But in today’s political landscape when social services are being cut while tax breaks are going to big businesses and wealthy individuals I get angry, like many people throughout this country. I’m not a wall street embezzler; I’m not an insurance monolith denying benefits to a sick person; I’m not an oil company trying to avoid responsibilities for a catastrophic spill; I’m not an annoying show business personalty holding out for $3 million per television episode rather than the current $2 million. I’ll pay my taxes because I have to and because all things equal, it’s the right thing to do. But things are not equal, and if I were King, I would give every taxpayer earning less than $250,000 a 2010 stimulus check that would make everybody smile AND a thank you to everyone who has been hanging in there during these turbulent times.


About Alan G Billingsley

My career has been varied, including time as a newspaper deliverer, lifeguard, bubble gum maker, door-to-door detergent promoter, telephone book proofreader, short order cook, private employment agency counselor and owner, office and credit manger, infantryman, pots and pans salesman, Chinese restaurant cook, Chinese restaurant owner, public employment counselor, budget analyst, tax analyst, grant administrator, radio announcer, radio and television show host, disk jockey, automobile valet, child advocate, and now retiree. I've seldom been bored.
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One Response to An Uneasy Relationship

  1. barbara says:

    Sounds like I’m in for a big surprise regarding taxes also. We have to pay income tax on Social Security! Who knew? Why didn’t I?

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