Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dear IRS

Dear IRS Worker:

I know you are an accountant and not a therapist; but please find it in you to be bigger than math and listen to my lament. I won’t take offense if you make a bowl of popcorn. I’ll try to throw in some numbers because I know numbers make you happy. Make a bowl of 435 non-GMO organic popcorn kernels and pull up one chair. Here goes.

I cannot impress upon you the level of outrage I feel as I hand over this monstrous amount of hard-earned money to this government in the form of taxes; especially since Paul Ryan wants to convince me that my self-employment tax (money that I earned), that he will (if it hasn’t been squandered in bad investments) have sent back to me as a “federal benefit payment” (instead of a social security payment, as originally dubbed by FDR), is a handout from the federal government and not repayment of funds I set aside for myself. Hopefully he won’t cause the government to lose my money by investing it in cheese (he is from Wisconsin, after all) and I will still get my social security money when I retire. I wouldn’t say “no” to cheese, if I can have that too.

When I think of how egregiously my taxes will be ill-used, it makes me walk far out into the woods to scream. The predator-in-chief apparently thinks that if we are sick and starving and haven’t seen a new episode of Sesame Street lately then we won’t notice his efforts to lay waste to our precious California coastline with oil drilling, to destroy our last best hope for survival by failing to address environmental devastation, or to simply take the fast track to human annihilation by causing us to be blown to bits by a nuclear bomb. Honestly, I can’t begin to imagine what he thinks or if he actually thinks at all in the usual sense, because apparently his brain is basically full of golf balls, carbohydrates, ketchup, images of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue, misogynist sexual fantasies, Fox News drivel, squirrels, and invective.

I did not work all those late evenings to earn money to send to the government to build that Folly Border Wall or to increase military spending at the expense of health, education, the arts, climate protection, and other essential programs. I did not sit inside in front of my computer on miraculously beautiful days to support that fake-president in using my income to promote his nonsensical concept of addressing gun violence by funding schools to buy guns to arm teachers so that even more children will feel surrounded daily by weapons, the good ole boys at the NRA can rejoice over increased profits from gun sales, and middle school science teachers will have a greater chance of accidentally shooting a ceiling tile, a beaker full of vinegar, their foot, or a student. Does anyone feel safe yet?

I am furious, frustrated, and can’t express how much I don’t want to pay my taxes to this shameful embarrassment of a sham government that has alienated us from the rest of the world, wrenching families apart, and devastating the natural environment thus robbing my children and grandchildren of a future, which is what truly breaks my heart. Why do I have to pay for this? I would say to deposit my tax check at the Environmental Protection Agency, but it seems that it would then foot the bill for Scott Pruitt to rent a condo from a friendly big oil lobbyist. (He thinks EPA stands for Environmental Plunder Agency.) Or I would say to deposit my tax check at HUD to help address homelessness, but it seems that it would then be used for Ben Carson to buy vintage dining room chairs. (No cardboard box that serves as a shelter should be without dining room chairs.) Or I would say to deposit my check at the Department of Education, but it seems it would then be used to purchase Betsy-DeVos-biblical-quote coloring books for privileged white children attending private schools. Or I would say to deposit my check at the Department of Health and Human Services, but it seems it would then be used to subsidize dissemination of abstinence propaganda to adolescents instead of offering them condoms and unbiased sex education. Everyone knows that the primary developmental work of adolescents is to have sex. So abstinence? Really? I figure that Alex Azar (formerly President of Eli Lilly and a lobbyist for the drug industry) is so busy figuring out ways for the HHS to funnel money to the pharmaceutical industry that he pays no attention to the sexual proclivities of American teenagers. Is there an anthropologist in the house? Where is the National Geographic when you need them? 

I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. Where to deposit my taxes. I would want to invest my taxes in research to address climate change, except this no longer has meaning in the context of this government because the words “climate change” have been banned from governmental language as if banning the words will make climate change disappear. If that would work, then the fact that I refuse to use the predator-in-chief’s name would make him disappear. So far, I’m having no luck with that. While I can keep his name out of my personal mouth, I can’t even keep his person out of California. Where is an alternative universe capable of sucking fake-presidents out of this universe when you need it?

Thus, I see nowhere in this government to deposit my taxes because no part of this government is functioning effectively as intended or deserves the income from the good daily work of my hands. This is not my America and it probably never was my America. For a while I thought it might be, for a while I thought the country was or could be something else, but no, it’s not. The price I pay to remain in my home, surrounded by my community and the natural landscape I love, with easy access to my family, near my children and grandchildren, is the cost of my taxes and the shame of my complicity.

So thanks for doing your job, IRS Worker. It gives me comfort to know that someone can understand math well enough to figure out how to do accounting. Too bad that you have to process these payments that will be so misused (if not outright embezzled) to benefit the family and friends of the billionaire psychotic in the driver’s seat. If you’re looking for a career change, then I wish you the best of luck. Let me know if you want me to write you a reference. You’re an excellent listener.

Disenfranchised Citizen #65,844,954

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