Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Out of Touch -- Legislators and Taxes


I read an interesting article in the Baltimore Sun the other day about a proposal in Congress to address back taxes owed by some government workers. I couldn't find the Sun article so here is the one from the LA Times titled Fire Them? Federal employees, retirees owe $3.4 billion in taxes.

It seems many of my federal co-workers are slugs (yes, I wrote it) and do not pay their taxes. This includes military personnel. I believe paying taxes is a responsibility that good citizens of our country need to accept--that does not mean that I like paying taxes, because I don't. But, as a citizen, I must accept the responsibility for doing my part to contribute to the operation of our government.

But here is my take on this emotional, election year issue. If they fire the workers who owe the taxes--which means they know who they are, then how do they reasonably expect the people to pay their back taxes--plus penalties and interest.

Yup, they owe the money. And according to the article we are talking about 280,000 people.

My answer is to take the money out of their wages and make them keep working until the debt is paid.

Why is that hard?

Hello, Congress!

Admittedly, the article says pretty much the same thing: "Critics of the legislation have said that firing employees who owe taxes would make it more difficult to collect the money. The unemployed hardly make for very good taxpayers, the Federal Managers Assn. said in a letter to lawmakers last year."

So if I can see the problem with trying to collect taxes from unemployed people (who then begin to receive benefits which may compound the problem) and the Federal Managers Association can see it, why is Congress wasting time trying to pass legislation that is counter productive to what they want to do?

Of course--we've been there before, haven't we?

Wake up and let's move on.

Next issue?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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