by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Though I’ve tried many times, I have never read James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake or my own tax returns. If the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ever asks me to defend anything I declared or exempted or deducted or itemized, I’ll just sigh, take out my wallet, and start handing them twenties until they stop talking.
I don’t resent taxes for the usual reason—that government wastes my hard-earned money. No, I resent paying taxes because if the government wants my money, it should have to do the work of figuring out how much it wants. I don’t click on a book on Amazon.com and then fill out 20 pages of forms to figure out how much it will cost me, and then keep every receipt and form in case Amazon wants to make sure I got the number right five years from now. If I had to do all of that for Amazon, I’d have an even lower chance of reading Finnegans Wake.