Below The Beltway

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So You’re Thinking About “Going Galt”

by @ 5:25 pm on March 10, 2009. Filed under Economics, Politics

Over at The Liberty Papers, Brad Warbiany suggests you put your money where your mouth is:

Tax day is coming up. Assuming your earnings are pretty similar to the previous year, it’s pretty simple to estimate your tax liability. It’s also pretty simple to estimate your withholding. There are several free calculators online to do it for you, including one from the IRS. How handy!

But I’ll make it even easier. I consulted a tax preparer that I’ve known for years, and he’s provide a relatively simple rule of thumb that should serve you well. When it comes time to fill out your W-4, assuming you’re a salaried employee, here’s what you do:

  1. Count yourself: Me
  2. Count yourself again: Myself
  3. Count yourself again: I
  4. Count your spouse (if you have one)
  5. Count each of your dependents (if you have them)

    Me, Myself, and I, then one for your spouse and one for each dependent.

    For me, I have me, myself, and I, which is three. I have a wife, making four. And I have one child and one on the way (who will arrive in 2009), so there’s two more, giving me a total of 6. This is 1-2 more than the standard W-4 form suggests that I claim, so I’ll under-withhold, but should be close enough to my actual tax burden to avoid penalties.

    So here’s my suggestion. April 15th, go to your HR department and change your W-4 claimed exemptions. Go with the maximum exemptions that you calculate will keep you from over-withholding, but small enough to avoid penalties. Budget (save or invest) the difference, so that you can pay the necessary tax next April, and don’t dare postmark the check to them before April 14, 2010.

    It’s not a big difference. But if enough people do this, it will be big enough to be noticed.

    And whether it’s noticed or not, at least you’ll avoid giving the government a tax free loan for a year.

    As I’ve said many times in the past, tax refunds are for suckers.

    One Response to “So You’re Thinking About “Going Galt””

    1. Critos says:

      The first step to fixing our political system is to stop paying the “politician tax”….

      Politicians are not like the rest of us…. they are keenly obsessed with “getting elected” as a measure of success, but although this would seem to suggest that they should care about representing the views of the electors — the people — it doesn’t work out that way. With extremely rare exceptions, politicians preserve their interests by serving their party (whichever one it is) over the people, and by serving corporate interests and other special interests next to that, also over the people…. so where do we fit in?

      They see us as votes and money, and many of us are suckers…. how many of you donated money to a politician or a party last year? The sad truth is that whatever you did donate was actually a tax imposed by the system through blackmail, one that you didn’t have to pay at all, but volunteered…. I have to admit, I’m in that crowd, even though I only gave to Libertarian candidates (who all lost) and the amount I donated amounted to pocket change even in their meager coffers…. but I’d take it back if I could….

      Look at it this way: imagine there are two bullies on your block, and both want to take your lunch money…. each says that if you “voluntarily” pay him, he’ll protect you from the other one, and each one talks up how dangerous the other one is in order to convince you to buy protection… but the truth is, if you learn to defend yourself you don’t have to give a penny to either of them.

      That’s what the Republicrats do — each side uses the other as a threat to pry your dollars away in the form of campaign donations, and the first and biggest thing WE can do to eliminate donation-driven corruption from the system is to turn off that voluntary faucet of cash flowing out of our pockets.

      In short: DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY TO POLITICIANS!! not to a candidate, not to a campaign, not to a party, and if you can help it, not to a company that will pass it on to any of those (even a company that will hedge its bets by giving to both sides; in fact, especially such a company)…. clean up our politics, do NOT pay the politician tax!!

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