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09 April 2001

Taxes

Maybe when you join the Left, they give you a manual telling you how to write fear-inducing titles to your articles. "ScaryAdjective-Noun, ScaryAdjective Noun", and make sure the adjectives alliterate (is that a word?).

The Lovely Evelynne

I officially completed my taxes tonight, using a nifty little free program called TaxAct. I had done a quick estimate back in early February, and figured out I probably was going to owe a hundred bucks or so, so I put everything away and decided the sorry SOBs could get their money at the last possible minute. What I hadn't done was calculate the relatively new tax credits for student loan interest payments (which went into repayment last year) and the Hope lifelong learning credit (for those ongoing dissertation hours I'm paying for). Turns out I will get a refund of a few hundred dollars because of those. I still HATE tax day, and withholding in general.

I was slightly bemused as I was figuring out these tax credits, because it strikes me that I now finally am past the whole "struggling grad student" phase to "middle class taxpayer" status -- I qualify for ridiculous deductions that ought not even to exist now! Woohoo! Now, I am NOT complaining about this, but it's just an illustration of what a [email protected] up tax code we have.

I don't know if Andrew remembers this, but I was reminded of a tongue-in-cheek conversation I had with him ages ago in which we decided that it would be much MUCH more fun if the government simply figured out its budget for the year, divided it by eligible taxpayers (pretty much everyone), and sent everyone their bill for their share. I still think that would be delightful.

* * * *

I'm pleased to report that the city/railroad/TXDOT closed the railroad crossing near San Felipe that destroyed the car a few days ago, and completely repaired the tracks. Of course, the tracks were dreadful for months, but hey, if it only takes a wheel getting blown off a car to get 'em fixed, Lee Brown's America is certainly improving! Or as Mayor Brown says, Houston "is happening. In a big way."

[Posted @ 11:07 PM CST]


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