(Yes, I'm feeling the apathy, it's why I didn't get this posted until Tuesday.)
My little sister reminded me of this this prior weekend, when she asked me to do her taxes, because she doesn't know how (despite the fact that I just go to a free filing site (H&R Block, and the state site (Illinois for her, Ohio for me)) and fill in the blank. She was both surprised and pissed to find that she owed money this year (last year, she got a nice refund). And yet, she had no idea why she got money last year and owed this year. Because she never paid attention to the shit.
Needless to say, I took the opportunity to point her to the Online Tax Revolt. I didn't get her on board a FairTax brigade, but every voice helps. And it's to the Asshats of the Week that I suggest getting your lazy asses over to the online tax revolt, sign up, and then start Googling about tax reform.
(This would include said sister, who shall remain unnamed lest she drive across Indiana just to kick me in the nuts.)
The people who know they are getting refunds and need that cash were filing the second their W-2s arrived. Those who have to pay but don't really look into it are waiting until April 15. But the apathetic are getting to it when they get to it. And they don't look into why they are getting a refund, or they just say screw the IRS if they have to pay.
They miss the point that so much is driven by our taxes, and so much of our freedom is controlled by them, that to ignore this power grab leaves you at the mercy of people who empower themselves though your pocketbook.
In my sister's case, she's young, single, no kids, no other dependents (which she had last year), earning well, has no disabilities, is not in a protected industry, and therefore is not a constituency that the politicians are worried about buying off (in other words, the opposite of the senile citizens). In fact, she's the kind of person that the government can tax because she has the disposable income to be taxed.
In fact, as I went through the form a second time (especially when I saw how much she owed), I highlighted all the tax credits and bullshit that she didn't get, because much of it is devoted to creating a leech class of people, who find themselves dependent on the government for increasing chunks of their lives.
So after I finish posting this, I'll drop her an email letting her know her AOTW status, and see if she's looked into anything involving taxation. Maybe it will result in another person paying a little more attention that wasn't before.
So that's going to be the challenge this week: In addition to getting on board the tax revolt, it's time to recruit the apathetic. You can even send them to this post to remind them that paying taxes is a duty we all have, but it shouldn't be a way the government controls us.
And on a semi-related note, there's no greater tax on the apathetic (and stupid) than the lottery. Really.