Ahh, spring! Easter lilies come to life. Forsythia flourishes. Daffodils disseminate. As tulips bud, sunlight sticks around longer. Even some post offices stay open longer on a mid-April day.
That would be Tax Day — this past Monday. TV news recorded the usual long lines as last-minute filers sought to settle accounts with the Show-Me State tax man and good old Uncle Sam. This is all part of our rites of spring.
Except, this spring is different. The TCJA, otherwise known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is providing you with gobs of untaxed cash and even more IRS refund money. Thank the President and the 2016 Congress for all this largess.
Yes, this spring is different. Closer to home, our statehouse politicians have arranged for a nice Missouri income tax reduction providing you with gobs of untaxed cash and even more revenue department refund money. Thank a Jeff City super majority for all this largess.
April fools! This spring is so different. There are so many more April fools running around — wondering why that extra cash never actually materialized when they crunched the tax numbers.
On the federal level, the Americans for Tax Fairness report that as TCJA goes into full effect, 83 percent of the benefits are going to “One-Percenters.” Those would be people like Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who are worth more than the bottom 165 million Americans put together.
The strange thing is that these three fellows did not even ask for their taxes to be cut. In fact, they have spoken out against the tax cut, which is aggravating the deficit and threatening the funding for Medicare and Medicaid.
I suppose we’re making progress in America if a billionaire like Buffett is protesting his unneeded benefits. And it may be unfair to say there are a lot of April fools running around, because polls now show that almost two-thirds of Americans favor repeal of TCJA.
On the state level, a mistake in Missouri withholding tables for 2018 means that not enough has been taken out of paychecks to pay state income taxes – at least, that’s the situation for thousands of Missourians.
I know that was the case for me, as I wrote the fattest check ever to cover the infamous tax year of Gov. Eric “Seal” Greitens. At the Kirkwood Post Office, I heard a few other paper return filers like me griping about what they were having to drop in the mailbox to Jeff City.
Back in Jeff City, the super majority politicians pray that these 2018 tax returns in the mail will contain checks to fill up widening budget holes.
Why the budget holes? State and federal tax cuts were supposed to stimulate the economy, erase deficits and ease tax burdens. Politicians told us the Laffer Curve and the brilliant trickle-down theory would make all this happen. Sure as the forsythia is flourishing, only April fools ever really believed this nonsense.