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Some tax returns are just welfare
Guest Editorial
Mike Riddle

Well, it’s that time of the year again — tax time. April 15 will be here before we know it and for many, it is a time of dread as they start gearing up to pay annual tax bills.
I know I dread it because it is a lot of work for me, having to go through receipts and look for every little deduction that I can claim on my return so, hopefully, my family receives a small refund. And while many of us don’t look forward to “tax season,” this is the best time of year for a lot of folks. They’re the ones who will get back a nice chunk of change. With this money, some pay off credit cards, others buy vehicles, and many even take vacations.
The hard-working people out there deserve their returns because they have overpaid Uncle Sam. For them, it is almost a savings account. I have no problems with these people, but I do have an issue with some of the folks out there who get money back.
This other group I’m talking about, they’re the Americans who don’t overpay but still receive what I call “tax welfare.” These individuals may bring in some income, but in reality, they pay very little in taxes. Somehow, though, they manage to get back the most money. Many get back $4,000 or $5,000 — some even get $10,000! If they have a bunch of kids, they can get back even more.
I once heard a friend say that he received a check for over $9,000. He got angry when I corrected him and told him he didn’t get a refund.
He asked, “What do you mean? I know I did get a refund check.”
To which I replied, “You can’t get a refund for something you didn’t pay for.”
To say the least, he was a little more irate. But the reality is, refunds are given to people who pay something. When people get a tax check from the government and they didn’t overpay, then they simply are getting another form of welfare.
One of the biggest sources of this “tax welfare” is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Last year, a couple with three or more children could receive over $6,000 from this credit. Though the credit has been around since 1976, it was expanded greatly in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. Though I did love the man — so much so that I named my youngest son after him — his mistake here shows that even great presidents do not always make the best decisions.
A good way to gauge who will get a big tax-welfare checks is by watching to see who runs to file their taxes quickly. If a person or couple dashes down to one of those little specialty tax-filing companies, it is a pretty safe bet they’re expecting a pretty nice check.
But enough of all of this gloom and doom. Let’s also celebrate. Many vacations are planned during this time of year — thanks to tax returns — and it is a time of happiness. So all of those hard workers running amusement parks, cruise ships and restaurants can rejoice. Business will be good, and their employees will have plenty to do for at least a few months, until the money runs out.
But on behalf of all the hard workers out there, I do ask one thing: Please give us a word of gratitude. Because for all of you consumers out there who are getting tax-welfare refunds, we laborers are paying for it. So, if you see one of us when we are at work, just say thank you. Nothing else will be necessary. We will nod back at you as we go back to work, preparing to pay for the tax-welfare check you will receive next year.

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