This week’s inductee into the “Overrated Hall of Fame” is … tax debt relief.
No, this isn’t going to be some political rant in the wake of two – count ‘em, two! – of Barack Obama’s cabinet nominees having to withdraw from consideration due to tax issues, although the Prez did take a well-deserved smackdown on that one. The person who really needs to lose his job over this is his Secretary of Vetting. How did both of those tax situations slip by unnoticed? I sure hope the people in charge of doing the Cabinet nominee background checks aren’t the ones keeping tabs on Al Quaeda. But those aren’t the people I’m pissed at this week.
The people who piss me off are these ramrods who don’t pay their proper taxes and then play the “poor me” card when they find themselves saddled with a massive tax debt they have almost no hope of digging out of. You’ve seen these reprehensible scum-sucking dogs gloating on those commercials for the skeezy firms that specialize in negotiating tax settlements.
Just how in the hell is this legal? Many people, famous or not, go to jail for tax evasion. Yet these delinquent dildos not only rip off the government (and in effect me and you), they go on TV and brag about how much money they “saved” by going to Seedy, Smarmy and Oily, Ltd.
I saw another one of these ulcer-inducing commercials today. One triumphant person said he owed the IRS over $100,000, but thanks to so-and-so’s help, he paid only $20,000. Another woman proudly stated that she and her restaurant owning husband owed “millions,” yet they settled for just a fraction of that.
Assuming these ads are true (and that might be quite an assumption), I can understand the government’s willingness to settle, at least to a point. Better to get some money out of these deadbeats than none at all. God knows it would cost big bucks to track down these bastards, convict them and then foot the entire bill for their jail time.
I just don’t want these people on my television boasting the sweetheart deal they cut and how many thousands they saved. Why can’t other criminals cut similar deals? Let’s say I anally rape a woman and then behead and dismember her. (Pause here for heavy breathing at the thought.) While I’m on the run, maybe I can go to some company that “specializes in getting your rape and murder charges reduced!” Instead of doing life or getting the chair, I can have a company of slick talking legal types bargain my rape and murder charge down to “a forced tongue kiss with cigar breath and two unsolicited ass gropes.” Then I can go on TV in my bloody clothes and vouch for my lawyers’ mad skills, all while somehow playing the victim card.
Another aspect of this whole thing that puzzles me is how these knuckleheads let themselves get into such a massive debt situation in the first place. Most of us are lucky enough to have jobs where some unseen accounting department takes care of all those deductions on every paycheck. But if you choose to be self-employed, it’s your responsibility to figure out how much tax you’re going to owe each year. You might not hit it exactly right, but at least be in the ballpark, for fuck’s sake. (That’s in honor of my new hero, Christian Bale.) I’m sure they have tables and charts and ciphering grids that allow the self-employed to make a fair guess at how much to take out of his and his employees’ paychecks each week. The same holds true for the business taxes. If you can’t figure this all out, then maybe you shouldn’t run your own business.
I used to be friends with a Methodist minister. He was technically self-employed. He had to pay himself every two weeks and was responsible for taking out taxes. He managed that Einsteinian feat just fine, and believe me, he was no math whiz. (Example: The dumbass used to refer in his sermons not to the Holy Trinity but to the Holy Quartet of “the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and a guy named Eddie.”) I never remember him screaming in horror every April at the realization that he owed the IRS thousands of dollars.
If I’m not understanding some basic element of this, please elucidate my cloudy thinking, because I’m tired of yelling at my TV every time these smiling scofflaws crow about ripping off the government to the tune of $70,000. It taxes 100 percent of my patience, and I don’t know if there are any anger management companies out there who can help me bargain it down to a more manageable 20 percent.
Ned Bitters is, in fact, overrated. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.