As I write this, I am looking at my W-2 and 1099 tax forms for 2012. Every year I bring them to my tax preparer and as his calculator works overtime, I anxiously await the “damage.”
During tax season, millions of Americans go through that same tax anxiety. But this year, the anxiety is going to an even higher level because we have been told that higher taxes are needed to address the government’s runaway spending.
One of the biggest shaming tactics is that all of us “have to pay our fair share.” What has been particularly annoying to me is that many people, like billionaire Warren Buffet and celebrities have talked about paying more taxes as the “patriotic” thing to do. Buffet has done countless interviews where he laments the crazy U.S. tax system, saying his secretary pays a higher percentage in taxes than a billionaire like he does.
We’ve also seen many celebrities (who earn more in a year than most of us can even dream of earning in a lifetime) lecture Americans that we need to pay more taxes in order to support and fully fund every single government program, cause and pet project.
I get that. This is America and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But what has been a big part of the “more taxes/fair share” message is that if you’re against paying what the government decides is your “fair share,” you’re not a true American citizen. To me, that is just an emotional cheap trick to divert the conversation from the real issue. Our debt and spending is unsustainable. Putting the breaks on spending is the financially responsible thing to do.
But the “fair share/higher taxes” people don’t want to have any part of that conversation. So as I was looking at my W-2′s and 1099′s, I came up with an idea…
My first annual Dom Giordano Taxpayer of the Year Award. But I don’t think I will find a winner. Let me explain:
For every American who believes that it is important that we pay more taxes, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
Don’t just talk about it, advocate it and promote that proposal, just shut up and do it. Here’s how:
For your 2012 tax form, do not take a single deduction that you are entitled to. That’s right, no dependent deduction, no mortgage interest deduction, no expense deduction, no charitable contribution deduction…nothing. After all, deductions are loopholes from paying taxes you owe the U.S. government. According to the fair share coalition, you’re shirking your duty as an American.
If you can incur that kind of financial sacrifice, than you are a bigger person than I can ever hope to be.
Think about it…if you truly believe more taxes are necessary and the right thing to do, isn’t taking deductions on your 1040 tax form hypocritical and un-patriotic? And as an extra measure of your citizenship, why not pay even a little bit more to the government (it’s quite legal)?
In addition to Buffet and the out-of-touch Hollywood celebrities who like to lecture us and criticize Americans for having the nerve to resist seeing more of their hard-earned money go to the government, I’d like to issue this challenge to our members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The same offer to the president and the Administration. If you propose, vote for and/or support increased taxes, it is a reasonable request to ask you to lead by example.
No deductions for commuting to Washington and your living expenses. No writeoffs whatsoever. Just pay the full amount on your gross taxable income for the year. If you do that, I guarantee you that you’ll get more credibility and respect from the American people.
If any taxpayer decides to refuse to take a single tax deduction and pays their full gross taxable income, let me know. Show me a certified form from your tax preparer and a certified check. If you can document and prove you paid your true “fair share,” I will honor you on my radio show as the recipient of my first annual “Dom Giordano Taxpayer of the Year Award.”
Somehow, I have the feeling that this award is going to be gathering dust in my office closet.
What do you think?