As Tax Day arrives, naivete of college students shows

By Hannah Bleau |

Headshot copyApril 15 marks the day that the majority of Americans absolutely dread. It’s the day that millions of people have to empty their pockets, savings and overtime work to complete their “civic duty”: Paying taxes. But as college students, it doesn’t quite affect us yet.

Still, we’re taught it’s a privilege to pay taxes, one that everyone should do gleefully — especially the super affluent.

My generation is enamored with ideals about taxes and civic duties. Most college students will say, “Yeah, the more money you make, the more taxes you should pay. It’s only fair.” Is it? I have a feeling reality will hit us hard when we actually have to file extensions, figure out how to fill out those confusing forms and sign checks ourselves.

In many universities, we’re taught the government is entitled to a large portion of one’s earned money. We hear about how people who want lower taxation are selfish, greedy imperialists who want to hoard all their money.

In honor of April 15, I thought I would provide some “fun facts” about taxes. Get ready!

  •  America currently has a progressive tax code — that means the more you make, the more you pay.
  • About 47 percent of U.S. citizens pay no federal income tax. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
  •  The top “one percent” of taxpayers pays 37 percent of the total federal income tax (I wonder how much the “99 percenters” of Occupy pay in?)
  •  The top 10 percent of income earners pay roughly 70 percent of the total federal income tax
  •  The brackets are the following percentages: 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 39.6
  • In a basic analysis, if you graduate from college and get a job making 50,000 a year, you’ll owe the government 25 percent of that on April 15
  • Income earners who make $1 million will owe the federal government 39.6 percent or $369,000 without deductions (can you imagine writing a check to the government for that much?)
  • The top marginal tax rate when President Ronald Reagan took office was 70 percent. (Holy mother of wack!) Reagan brought it down to 28 percent.

Don’t get me wrong. The country obviously needs an income to sustain itself, but I just have a hard time imagining writing a big, fat check to the government when lawmakers don’t even know how to spend my money. Can you say $17 trillion in debt?

But don’t fret! At least the government is doing super important things with the money it collects! The past shows that. This includes but is not limited to:

  • $181,406 study on how cocaine affects the sex drive of Japanese quail
  • $325,000 on a robot squirrel
  • $384,989 study on duck genitalia
  • $939,771 study on the attraction preferences of male fruit flies
  • $1.5 million study on why lesbians tend to be more over weight than gay men
  • $297 million on a army blimp that never worked
  • $125,000 for 3D pizza technology
  • $27 million on Moroccan pottery classes
  • $3.4 billion on turtle tunnels
  • $82.5 billion for SNAP (can you say “lobster dinner?”)

I can only hope that my fellow students, stuck in their utopian fantasies, grow to be enormously successful. I wonder if they’ll continue to adhere to their progressive mindsets when it hits them where it hurts: their wallets.


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