Tax Man Cometh
With tax day upon us, I’ve figured out how to make both the political left and right happy. Stop paying taxes.
The way I figure, if some of us don’t pay taxes the police will be underfunded, so we’ll have to buy more guns to protect our own property. That would make the right happy. And if there’s less money for roads and bridges, then we might burn less fossil fuel in our global warming transportation machines. Which would make the left happy. If the left and right are happy, then we should expect to see a merger of MSNBC and Fox news.
Of course this is about as absurd as me having to file over 100 pages just to convince the federal and state governments what taxes I do or don’t owe. I’m glad my accountant gets it. I don’t.
One time, I got a letter of inquiry from the government with a big bill for unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. It seems they discovered that I took money from one retirement account and put it in another. So, I wrote them a letter and said, “I took money from one retirement account and put it in another.” They replied, “We got your letter.” Then another reply, “We’re looking into it.” Yet another letter arrived to inform, “What you’re saying makes sense. So we’ll leave you alone about it. For now.” What I know about taxes, I learned playing little league baseball: Even when you think you’re safe, the umpire can call you out!
You know, the Bible says some things that I just do not like to hear. Jesus was approached by some haters with a trap disguised as a tax accounting question. He wisely deflected with, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). He avoided the trap (nice!) but told us to pay up (oh well).
Paul elaborates on the idea: “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom” (Rom. 13:7). You might wonder if all the taxes you pay are really due them. In our democratic republic you can address that, but not by making a unilateral decision what you think you will pay. It’s by voting for whoever supports tax policy you favor. Then hope they actually do.
Paul offers another nugget. “Because of (conscience’ sake) you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God” (Rom 13:6). I tell you what let’s do. Let’s just pay our taxes and believe that God has a divine purpose for those that rule over us. We don’t have to trust them, but we can trust Him.