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Eliminating 'tax withholding' would awaken us
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There would be a tremendous tax revolt in this country if we did away with tax withholding and the U.S. government sent a tax bill at year's end.

Withholding is a great way developed by the government to siphon money from your paycheck without you thinking about how much you don't actually get to keep. You simply get used to seeing what you get to take home, and if you're lucky, get some of that back - without interest - when you file your taxes.

I just finished my 2009 tax forms and apparently I am short a lot of money. Like $1,300 short. Ouch. This happened for a couple of reasons. My wife's employer hadn't increased her rate of withholding like she requested, Obama messed with withholding to infuse more money into the economy, and I have one less exemption because our daughter got married.

It kind of woke me up as to actually how much I'm being asked to pay. I'm now scrambling to find a way to pay Uncle Sam on April 15.

I'm one to pay my taxes. It's the cost of being an American. I wouldn't mind so much if I thought that my dollars were actually going to buy artillery to kill off some Al-Qaida members who are planning more terrorist attacks against innocent people. But what grates on me is to think my money may actually be funding some wasteful exercise.

Like that colossal waste of money I saw last week. Like you, I received a notice in the mail telling me the Census was coming. How much did it cost us to send out those estimated 120 million letters? Someone estimated that letter cost $57 million.

Sure, I know some are saying that the letter will actually save us money by heightening awareness and increasing response by 6 to 12 percent, but I'm skeptical. Anyone connected to the rest of the world knows that a U.S. Census comes every year ending in a zero. Anyone who doesn't know that - or hasn't heard the news lately - probably won't get the census form filled out right anyway.

That's just one example of waste. As I am scrambling to come up the rest of the cash to pay tax bill to Uncle Sam, I can't get out of my head how Speaker Nancy Pelossi flies all around the country - yes over Ceres as she flies from D.C. to the Bay Area - uses military aircraft. Over the holidays she used military aircraft to fly members of her family around at an estimated cost of $22,000 an hour. No wonder our country is bankrupt.

We've come a long ways since the night when President Thomas Jefferson went to bed hungry after he showed up late to an inauguration dinner. I can assure you that my $1,300 is a paltry sum in comparison to the cost of firing up a military aircraft and flying it 3,000 miles. It's quite a significant sum for my household though.

As one who has watched the Ceres City Council scrutinize every budget dollar in these hard times, it would be nice if someone could figure that out at the federal level and start getting us out of debt instead of further into it. As of March 16, the U.S. national debt is $12,591,246,940,392. That's about $40,878 for each of us to cough up. I don't know about you but I can't afford it and think I'll try turning out tax-and-spenders on Nov. 2.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at