f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 16, 2007

tax day: self-pity and better attitudes

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 10:21 am

       We don’t know who Googled [opposite of self-pity] yesterday afternoon, April 15.  The searcher found his or her way to f/k/a, because the very first Google result (out of over a million) was our Thanksgiving 2005 posting “self-pity: the opposite of thanksgiving.”  There’s a good chance the querist was an American despairing over his or her last-minute income tax preparation chores.  If so, I hope the message in our Thanksgiving piece brought some peace of mind.

We discussed Ted Koppel’s last Nightline show.  MorrieDVD the movie

Ted decided to bow out by reprising highlights from his acclaimed interviews with Morrie Schwartz, the wise retired professor who wanted to talk about dying (he had ALS), and who became the subject of Mitch Albom’s mega-hit book, Tuesdays with Morrie.  Despite their popularity, the Albom book and the Nightline interviews contain much wisdom about dying and living with dignity, grace, humor and hope.   In a nation where we find rampant discontent, among people enjoying a myriad of blessings, Morrie Schwartz’s refusal to wallow in self-pity as he lost control of his body and neared death, is not merely a good example — it is a recipe for much fuller and happier lives. 

TuesdaysMorrieCover  Albom asked Morrie if he ever felt sorry for himself.  Morrie replied that he cried a little first thing in the morning, as he surveyed which parts of his body he could still move, adding, “Mitch, I don’t allow myself any more self-pity than that.  A little each morning, and few tears, and that’s all . . . “It’s only horrible if you see it that way.”  The next result to the Google query had a similar message.  See “Torah with Morrie,” by Rabbi Boruch Leff, who says: “The essential ingredient of our joy is not what we have but what we are and how we think. We can control our thoughts and attitudes.”

Tax Day. Which emoticon did you choose?  tax day 

Of course, if you’re the kind of Tax Whiner who needs a kick in the butt rather than a few words of philosophic wisdom, before improving your attitude toward rendering to Caesar, feel free to check out any or all of our prior Tax Day harangues:



ghosts of tax days past [The Easter Carol] (2006)
tax day —   erasingS 
a battery-powered breeze
stirs the desk chimes

nearly dark–
snow deepens
on the baseball field

. . . . . . ………… by billie wilson 
“nearly dark” – Acorn 15 (2005); “tax day” –  The Heron’s Nest

QkeyNs sKeyNs   q.s. quickies  There are a number of tax-related articles in today’s New York Times (April 16, 2007) that merit a mention and a look:

  1. In “A Few Good Lawyers,” Columbia Law School dean and tax lawyer David M. Schizer says that
    “The tax system can be only as strong as the people who run it, so the government has to recruit and retain the most promising talent.”  He stresses that senior IRS lawyers make only 10% of the million-dollars+ a year tax partners bring down in law firms.  His solution, of course, is to have the Government pay a lot more for its tax lawyers.  Dean Schizer makes me rather nostaligic for the days when we served the public without needed to become millionaires. 
  2. David Cay Johnston notes in “I.R.S. Audits Middle Class More Often, More Quickly,” the the I.R.S. has nearly tripled audits of tax returns filed by people making $25,000 to $100,000 since 2000.
  3. The NYT editorial Cleaning up the alternative tax correctly argues that “The alternative tax should be reformed so that it does what it is supposed to do: make wealthy taxpayers with excessive tax shelters pay up.” Of course, only capturing the very rich with AMT will require that monies be recouped elsewhere.  The editorial suggests how to do that, noting “The lower rate for capital gains is one of the biggest breaks in the code. But under the law, capital gains are not classified as sheltered income subject to the alternative tax.”  That should be fixed when AMT is repaired —  capital gains should be treated the same as other tax breaks under the alternative tax.
  4. In “Tax Returns Rise for Immigrants in U.S. Illegally,” by Nina Bernstein, we learn that many illegal immigrants feel an obligation to pay their share of taxes, and others hope to create a paper trail that could lead to citizenship one day.

tax audit —
dents in damp grass
from the mower’s wheels

………………………… by michael dylan welchThe Heron’s Nest (July 2004)

p.s. Blawg Review has literally and figuratively “gone to the dogs,” with Sheryl Schelin’s posting today of Blawg Review #104 at her SC Employment Law weblog.  Don’t let allergies to canine creatures or concept-carnivals keep you for checking out Bad Dog’s discussion of the best lawblog posting from the past week.  Thanks to Bad Dog for pointing (unmentionably) to our Saturday post on softpornEsq and the First Amendment.

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