Taxation without Radiation
Radiation Level: Severe
Listening To: The Tax Man by The Beatles
Warning: Rant to follow
Is it me? Or is preparing your taxes the WORST DAY OF THE YEAR? I guess if you know you’re getting money back, it could be exciting, but still, how can you not be consumed by dread? I have a fair amount of education but am ceaselessly baffled by the complexity of figuring out my taxes. And what about my less than mentally firm cousin Banjo? She’s supposed to be able to do this stuff? The irony is, I don’t even do my taxes myself! I send them to a guy…but only after I’ve spent no less than an entire day organizing receipts, categorizing them, researching to see if I can itemize and deduct my contact lens solutions (yes, I can) or my spin classes (no, I can’t) and – this is the hardest part – adding up all those damn numbers on fading little bits of paper.
No, I don’t use an abacus, I use a calculator, but my fingers always seem to hit a wrong button when I’m almost at the end of a calculation. And I have to start again.
One year, I realized this old school method was crazy town, so I decided to use Quickbooks. Right. That lasted about six minutes and resulted in a two Tylenol, three chardonnay headache. And led me to ponder a bigger, more infuriating conundrum: I studied math in school for 12 years and, for the love of Darwin, why did they never teach us how to do this sh*t?!?
Yes, I can spout Pythagorean’s theorem and do geometric proofs and recite Pi up to 16 digits, but what good is that to me now? Has no one ever in the history of public education thought we may need to do figure out capital gains taxes one day? Don’t taxes involve numbers and qualify as arithmetic too? Wouldn’t this have been more useful than studying the imaginary quantity of “x” if it is multiplied by itself then divided by zero?
And what about teaching us kids about interest rates? Understanding credit card vultures and the nature of the greedy financial industry before I got that MasterCard in college and ran it up?
And after 12 years of math, no one thought to teach me the metric system which is used all over the freakin’ world? Instead, I’m left to continually wonder if a mile is bigger or smaller than a kilometer. And if it’s 30 degrees Celsius outside, does that mean I do or don’t need a coat. Am I the only one who regards this as scandalous?
No wonder China and South Korea are squeezing America out of the first world. We’re a bunch of math idiots! Our priorities are all wrong!
Now what? Guess I’ll go to Taco Bell and think outside the bun before watching Celebrity Apprentice.