Columns » John Brummett

Dear Mr. Tax Man

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This is a form letter to the Internal Revenue Service suitable for enclosure with your forthcoming federal income tax return.

Dear Tax Police:

Be advised that my enclosed return for calendar 2008 omits some of my income. If you would like me to report all the money I made last year and pay the appropriate taxes, then you'll need to speak to President Obama about getting me put into his Cabinet.

I'm given to understand that this is the only circumstance by which one must bother anymore with discharging one's full tax obligation. Failing a presidential nomination and Senate confirmation hearing, personal income taxes appear to be optional.

No taxation without nomination — that seems to be the mantra.

The president and the Congress are working on tax cuts in this stimulus package, anyway. So just count me as taking mine early.

Y'all are working up there in Washington on a $2 trillion deficit. What possible difference would my few dollars make? Meantime, I can establish my Cabinet-worthy bona fides. I'm fixin' to stimulus myself right into a secretary-ship.

So I'll just sit here and count the hours until Joe Biden swears me in, inviting me to promise to obey the laws and faithfully discharge my duties and all of that.

I can hear old Joe now. “Raise your right hand and repeat after me: Blah, blah, blah ... somethin', somethin', somethin'  ... doo-dah, doo-dah.”

I'm inspired by the new president. I want to be part of his culture of change in Washington.

Yes, I can. Yes, I can. Yes, I can.

The treasury secretary didn't pay all his taxes until he had to in order to get confirmed. And he's your boss. He's in charge of all you tax-collection people.

The guy nominated for a time to become secretary of health and human services didn't pay all his income taxes until he had to in order to get confirmed. Even then, someone had to remind him to cover his Medicare taxes. He was supposed to be in charge of Medicare.

What I'm thinking is that I can qualify to be Social Security administrator. To make myself eligible, I'm intentionally leaving unpaid some of my Social Security deductions.

Although it's none of your business, I will go ahead and tell you that I did not make as much money altogether last year as Tom Daschle didn't pay in taxes for getting a limousine and driver that he believed to be standard perquisites of a job, like a desk and computer and cubicle.

By the way, I'd also accept attorney general, since I'm neither a lawyer nor a general. Or surgeon general, since I'm not a surgeon, either.

Oh, and another thing: Be aware that my wife is signing this return, which ought to qualify her, like Mrs. Daschle, to be administrator of some regulatory agency, at least until she can parlay that into a big-time lobbying job.

Y'all take care, and, if you really need all my taxes, just have the president call me with the job particulars. I stand ready to serve.

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