Cheaters give citizens little incentive to pay taxes

It is the most wonderful time of the year. I am not speaking of Christmas, but rather of the national holiday that Americans hold very dear to their hearts: tax day.

Indeed, the carnage that is April 15 and the frenzied weeks leading up to it are a bittersweet time. Some rejoice in getting small amounts of their hard-earned dollars back while others, myself included, deal with further federal wallet draining.

However, several external factors are making it more difficult than usual to pay up this year.

The first can be summed up in two words: Timothy Geithner. As head of the Treasury Department, and therefore indirectly over the Internal Revenue Service as well, one would think that he of all people would have his taxes in line. He doesn’t. He didn’t pay his Social Security taxes in 2003 or 2004.

If the secretary of the treasury does not have to pay his taxes, then why should I?

And besides, by not paying up this year I might be increasing my odds of being selected to President Barack Obama’s administration. I’m holding out for secretary of heath and human services, since tax problems seem to be a requirement for that position, as nominee Kathleen Sebelius recently paid almost $8,000 in back taxes and interest from 2005 to 2007, according to the Washington Post.

Secondly, I am a college student who doesn’t make much money, and the majority of what I do earn goes toward paying for my education.

Government officials have already spent a staggering, heart attack-inducing sum of money, and my tax dollars would not even buy them a Slurpee. In all likelihood my money will be used to help fund a program that I disagree with, like socialized medicine. Plus, I will have that much less money to help fund my education.

But this is not even about money. It’s about something much bigger. We can whine and cry all we want about the tax code and having to cough up more of our money, but I know I will pay everything I owe on time and without remorse because it is the right and moral thing to do. That makes it all worth it because you can’t put a price on morality and a clean conscience.

But I would like to negotiate. If anyone in Washington is reading this article, here is my proposal: If you let me keep my tax money I will go buy an Xbox, which will stimulate the economy far more than anything the administration has done up to this point.

Shane Rainey is a sophomore chemistry major from Fort Worth.