Monthly Archives: February 2009

Taxes….

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it’s that time of year again.   In Anchorage, as in every city, there are a number of tax preparation shops that spring up this time of year, or maybe they are always there, and during the first months of the year are just a lot more visible.  I suppose that it doesn’t matter either way. 

 When I drive the kidlets to school in the morning, down Northern Lights Blvd., I pass by a tax shop that tries to lure the unsuspecting in with promises of “REFUND loans” in 1 hour!  “Get your money now!”.  Their little piece of the storefront mall is festooned with American flags and red, white and blue streamers.  Certainly you can trust them with your tax return, after all that is Old Glory waving you in…

When I drive home after picking the kids up after a day of school, my usual route takes me down Benson Blvd.    (Northern Lights and Benson are one-way twin streets).  And on Benson, there is another tax shop.  This one does not sport flags and streamers, oh no, these guys go all out, they hire people to dress up as The Statue of Liberty.  Some of the visions in copper green are rather mellow, holding up their little sign that says “Taxes Done Here”, or “REFUND loans IN AS LITTLE AS 1 HOUR” .  Others are quite enthusiastic, dancing and twirling, as if they can hardly contain their excitement at the prospect of seeing your w-2’s.

How does one choose between Lady Liberty and Old Glory???  (I just gave up making that decision and went with my trusty friend Turbo Tax)

All that aside, seems like taxes are the topic of discussion lately.  tax cuts, tax refunds, tax dodgers, tax cheats, tax rates, sales tax, property tax.  Everyone I have talked to lately is talking about their taxes. 

So here are my 2cents about taxes:

I really don’t mind paying taxes.  I don’t even really think that at this point in my life, and with the income level that we have, that we are paying too much in the form of taxes right now.   I haven’t always felt this way, and I suppose there is a day coming where I will feel like I am unfairly taxed, but right here, right now, I am ok with our tax rate. 

Granted I live in a state with no personal income taxes, and in a city with no sales tax, and that means I have a whole lot more in my pocket (percentage wise) than many of you who are living elsewhere.  And I am certain this all contributes to my feeling of goodwill.

Do I like everything that our government spends my tax dollars on?  No, I don’t.  I think it would be great if on our tax forms we could designate where we want our money to go.  Isn’t that a wonderful idea? Or maybe not.  

But truly, I am thankful I live in the United States.  I enjoy our standard of living.  When I drive down the highway, and it is nicely paved, I appreciate that.  I am beyond grateful to the men and women who risk it all in the military.  There are people I love that are dependent on one form of Government or another for their health care, and I think it is just great that they can have that health care.  I am facisnated by our political system and our governing branches, and think it is pretty awesome. 

Making the US, the US takes an unimaginable amount of money.  and it has got to  come from somewhere.  There were a few years where we didn’t really pay much in the way of taxes.  Living at about poverty level and having 3 kids will do that.  now, thankfully, that has changed.  Still have the 3 kids, but not so much the poverty level income. 

And it is just fine that we are now required to pay more in taxes.  During the years we did not pay in much, we still received the services.  We still drove on the roads, we were still protected by our military, we still had our kids in the public schools, getting a darn good education free of charge. 

Now, obviously, I don’t want to be taxed willy-nilly, I am not willing to go to equal distribution of wealth.  But I really am ok with taxes.

When I did our taxes this year, and I filed, I felt remarkably patriotic.   And then I looked at the total of what we paid in, and it was a pretty healthy number, and thought “wow, a bargain!”

Just thought you would like to know.

Mudflap girls, bumper stickers and license plates….

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I think that Alaska has more personalized license plates than any other state, certainly more per capita.  Every other car has a chatty plate.  I think they are a hazard.  I spend so much time trying to figure out what they mean, and why! 

The other day I was in traffic and in front of me was a car that sported a plate that said LUVGOD, and behind me was one that said PRA2GOD.  I have seen TRILL, AKFISH, HUNTR, HUNTER, FSHBOY, AKGIRL, MNGIRL, KNOGOD, NOGOD, BRATTY, GIRLY, 2FAST, 4U2TRY (really), PALIN(not kidding), AKCAMP, KCATCH, 5RDHDS,(family of redheads) YOLK(this is a yellow VW Bug), ALUMN, DOGMOM, PRAYON, TRPHWF(Iwant this one), BADMOM(why would you admit this), SK8ER, HKYMOM, GOALY, HILBLY, REDNEK(ooh, be proud), ROTTEN. I will keep track so I can regal you with tales of more at a later date. 

And bumper stickers, they are everywhere:  Palin/McCain, Obama, Drive like You Stole it (Huh?), Ron Paul, I love the Chugach, Why Couldn’t I Be Rich Instead Of Well Hung (yep, guess which license plate was his?), Super Sperm (again, why?), Choose Hope, Choose Life, I Love the Goddess, I Am The Goddess, MidWives Help People Out (I love this one).  Go Green, Never Drive Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Drive, If You Are Going To Ride My ***, at Least Pull My Hair (really, this is your statement to the world?), Driver Is Armed, I Value This Car More Than I Value Your Life, I Brake for Chocolate, Moose are People too (hmmm, perhaps a biology lesson is in order), Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Farmed Fish. 

And then there are the Mudflap girls:  you know what I am talking about, the silhouettes of the VERY curvy girls that you used to see on the mudflaps of the 18 wheelers.  I have always been a bit creeped out by these, I could never figure out why anyone would put these on their trucks, they are just SO tacky.  I really didn’t think they could get any worse.  But, I was wrong.  Now they are everywhere, really everywhere.  In sticker form on the the back windows of cars, trucks, and still on the mudflaps.  And there are new and even more tacky versions of this charming little girl.  One parent at school drives a truck with a SheDevil on the left side of her rear window, and a SheAngel on the right.  Both of these Shes are impossibly stacked and wearing seriously high heels, the SheDevil is carrying a whip. (this inspired a very lively discussion with the boys and the girl)  And now there is the FatGirl Mudflap Girl.  Yep, the reclining silhouette of a woman built like me.  Big huge thighs, belly resting on said thighs,  a beauty complete with double chin.  Let me tell you right now, if Dave EVER came home with one of those on the truck…. 

Anyway, lots of rambling tonight. I had no plan when I wrote this post, obviously!   Just wanted to share.