Death and Taxes
My kids both have summer jobs this year. When they got their first paychecks not too long ago, the weeping, wailing, and teeth-gnashing over the withholding taxes was something to behold. (Today was payday again, which is what triggered this thought.) When you've been working and getting paid for 20+ years, you tend to forget how annoying it is to first realize exactly how much the government is siphoning off from your money. And it is your money.
So allow me to make the follow two suggestions. 1) Let's move tax day. April 15 is way too far removed from the perpetrators. Let's make taxes due the last week of October. Having to write those checks a week before voting would (as Mark Twain said of the prospect of being hung) focus the mind. If we drew a stronger correlation between the laws our elected officials pass and the direct financial consequences, maybe we'd vote a little more intelligently.
2) Let's do away with withholding. If people had to pay the bill all at once, the pressure to lower our taxes would be immediate and immense. The drip, drip, drip of tax withholding torture doesn't galvanize us the way the total would if we recognized it.
Franklin said the only sure things were death and taxes...it's just too bad they don't come in that order!