Arghhh! It just happened again. No, I’m not referring to the billions of dollars hard-working taxpayers will have to send to Uncle Sam by April 17. (We get an extra two days to file a return this year, thanks to the 15th falling on a Sunday and the 16th being a holiday in Washington, D.C..)

What gets my goat is when someone — especially a near and dear family member — celebrates receiving a tax refund. People act as though it’s manna from heaven. They rejoice in their totally unexpected bounty from a beneficent government.

I try to explain that the Internal Revenue Service really isn’t doing them a favor and that, in fact, the opposite is true. I tell them that by overpaying their taxes during the past year, they have in effect been giving a profligate and wasteful government an interest-free loan. When I say that, they look at me as through I’ve suddenly sprouted two heads.They are utterly perplexed by my suggestions: They should not celebrate their tax refund, and they should do everything they can to keep as much of their money for as long as they can while working to put Big Government on a starvation diet.

The most common reaction I get to this diatribe is, “Huh?” Then they quickly change the subject.

So there will be no lengthy lecture from me this week about how a progressive income tax was an essential part of the Communist Manifesto, no rant about the conspiratorial origins of the Federal Reserve and no diatribe on the diabolical cunning of a withholding tax that renders the shark-like bite of Uncle Sam less painful than a mosquito’s nibble. No, I’ll just repeat my opening sentiment: Arghhh!

Continue reading →