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Pay The Piper

April 15, 2005

Todd Flanders: "Daddy, what do taxes pay for?"
Ned Flanders: "Why, everything! Policeman, trees, sunshine, and let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like workin', God bless 'em!"

I'd be remiss if I didn't wish my brother Matt a very happy 24th birthday, which he celebrated yesterday. I fully intended to write a column yesterday, but this week has been a very busy one for me. Matt told me that he beat the deadline to get his application in for CBS' Big Brother 6, and hopefully he'll be selected for the semi-finals (his region is Memphis, which for him would be a four-hour drive west down I-40). He'd be great for it, I tell you. He told me he used some video footage from his Legion of Croom appearance on national TV in September 2004 at the beginning and explained how he's not afraid to look foolish in front of America, if necessary. He should earn some points for that.

I used to make fun of people who waited until April 15 to file their taxes. My plan was to get them out of the way early this week; I should have done them earlier, but that didn't happen. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a busy week for me, so much so that my date with H&R Block's online site had to wait until tonight. Not exactly a fun way to kick off the weekend, but I have no one to blame but myself.

Luckily, that mess is finished now. At least there's no state income tax here in Florida, unlike what most of the country has.

When you see on paper (or a computer screen) just how much the government takes from you, it can be sickening. Even if you're not making big bucks, the bite can hurt. is a site that everyone reading this should visit, if only for a moment. Democrats tax and spend, Republicans tax and spend... it doesn't have to be this way. Yes, some tax money is certainly needed to keep things going, but the massive spending that goes on sickens me. I'll spare you a rant... just go check out the site for a moment, won't you?

The NFL season has been officially released, and wouldn't you know it, the Titans are playing at Miami on Christmas Eve. Last year I decided against driving down to Miami to see them play due to an impending hurricane (fair enough reason, I'd say). But at least Tennessee has a home game on Thanksgiving weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to see that up in Nashville when I'm home that weekend.

I want to end this by giving credit to Vishal Khubani for the Flanders tax quote at the top. I found it here, in his online commentary from July 2004. There are plenty of online columns out there (don't call them "blogs"; if I'm ever on Inside The Actors Studio, I'd list blog as my least favorite word), but few grasp my attention. Vishal's did. Maybe it's because everything he wrote I seemed to agree with, or that he was making points that few people even seem to think about (let alone articulate). I haven't read anything else yet but that one page, but so far I'm impressed. And, not to sound self-aggrandizing, but I don't say that very much about online columns.

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