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Insights from great minds on taxes


Wise and witty thoughts are the only things that bring me any solace during tax-filing season — thoughts, such as these:
“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.” (Bill Murray)
“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.” (Mark Twain)
“It’s fitting that April 14 is National Pecan Day, because it is the day we recognize nuts, and April 15 is the day we pay our taxes to support them.” (Craig Ferguson)
Billy, that’s a great idea. Mark, let’s not forget that the tax collector also skins our wallets. And, Craig, you explain well why our tax system is nutty.
Our country’s founders had plenty to say about taxes:
“What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.” (Thomas Paine)
“I cannot lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” (James Madison)
“It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.” (Ben Franklin)
Hey, Tom, Jim and Ben, you’d be shocked at the level of plunder, “benevolence” and taxation that’s going on. The only Americans who enjoy an income tax around 10 percent these days are those who moved to Russia.
The great leaders of the 20th century — the century that brought us the 16th Amendment and the income tax — have different takes on taxation:
“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” (Winston Churchill)
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” (Ronald Reagan)
“Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
Hey, Frankie, I prefer fewer taxes, as Churchill and Reagan did. I don’t mind paying my dues for organized society, but any thoughts on when we might get one?
Here are more quotes that remind me of our slick-talking politicians:
“Congress can raise taxes because it can persuade a sizable fraction of the populace that somebody else will pay.” (Milton Friedman)
“Did you ever notice that when you put the words ‘the’ and ‘IRS’ together, it spells “THEIRS?” (Unknown)
“We must care for each other more, and tax each other less.” (Bill Archer)
Well, Bill some of our politicians think the way to care for each other more is to tax us more. And because some Americans fail to understand that there aren’t enough “rich” to tax and that “tax the rich” is code for “tax everyone more,” our taxes shall go up — and our government will get a bigger share of “theirs.”
Ah, well, there’s little to do the next few weeks except commiserate with others who are suffering tax woes. This quote perfectly sums up how millions are feeling right now:
“The wages of sin are death, but after they take the taxes out, it’s more like a tired feeling.” (Paula Poundstone)

Copyright 2024 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.