Happy tax day. Or, as I like to call it, “Exes get all the credits” day.
I’m kidding. Sort of.
Anyway, as a so-called tax day, April 15 is a bit of a misnomer since so many more people will get checks instead of writing them. In fact, according to the Internal Revenue Service, roughly 75 percent of taxpayers can expect a refund. Oh, and the amount? The average refund check is $3,586. I can’t even remember what that’s like.
In just the last five years alone, according to the number crunchers at WalletHub, the agency has seen its budget cut by 18 percent, while costing it 14 percent of its workforce.
So God help you if you have an issue and want to call them up to work it out: The average wait time was nearly half an hour. And that was if they picked up at all, since about 60 percent of calls to the agency went unanswered through February.
And keep in mind that they’re not only responsible for a record number of tax return filings – nearly 150 million of them – but they’re the agency tasked with enforcing the PPACA mandate fine. Because, as Justice Roberts told us a while ago, it is a tax, not a penalty. Of course, all of this occurs within an environment of increased identity theft risk. It’s never been more dangerous to have your Social Security numbers floating around out there. So, of course it makes sense to have fewer people protecting it.
Don’t misunderstand: I’ll be the first to beat up the feds over our byzantine tax system, which requires a billion-dollar industry to service it. It even befuddled Einstein, and that was before the tax code grew into the 80,000-page fiscal tapeworm it is today. But we’re shooting the messenger, throwing IRS agents out onto the streets when it should be Congressmen who got us into this mess.
Speaking of which, this week also plays host to Equal Pay Day, that left-wing ‘holiday’ drawn up to highlight the gender pay gap, which – depending on whom you ask – ranges anywhere from 30 cents to a nickel on the dollar.
There’s little doubt it’s an issue, but a difficult one to legislate. This has to be something market-driven, and it’s something we’ve managed to cut in half – by any metric – over the last 40 years.
Finally, I think the increased likelihood of career interruptions makes apples to apples comparison tricky. Of course, we wouldn’t dream of legislating issues such as family planning either. Right?