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There are two very important things about today, December 16, 2016. The first is that it's my mother's birthday, I spoke with her, wished her a happy birthday, she sounds well and I'll see her next week. That's the good news. The bad news is that I wrote the final checks for my estimated taxes for 2016. That was not good news.

Now, don't get me wrong, I always pay my taxes. I actually pay a little more than I owe so that if I ever get audited, they'll have to say to me “We're terribly sorry to have bothered you, Mr. Hagberg. Thank you for your cooperation. Here's a check from the government for your overpayment. By the way, we threw in a little extra for your inconvenience.”

Every year, when I pay my taxes, I have this almost unstoppable urge to pay them in what they themselves define as legal tender. I'm thinking of a truckload of pennies driven to the front door of the IRS with me telling them that I don't mind waiting while they count it. I will tell them that I did this because they insist on being paid “every penny”.

The Lovely Louise would say that I'm being churlish which seems to be her favorite word lately. If you don't know what it means, it means being rude in a mean spirited way. Yup, that's exactly how I feel about paying my taxes. I'm churlish. Great word.

I'm very fortunate in that I make a very good living. Who am I kidding? I'm not fortunate. I worked my ass off all of my life and I'm reaping the benefits of all that sweat and those tears I suffered for forty years. I earned every dime and now they're taking a huge chunk of it away from me. I would actually be OK with that if I only believed that they weren't wasting so much of it. It's the waste I resent, not the taxes. If I ran my business like the government runs itself, I'd be in jail.

I have no idea if Trump is right or not but, if the government does have a contract with Boeing to spend $4,000,000,000 on a new Air Force One, it should be cancelled. I think the base airplane is something like $350,000,000. That would mean about $3,650,000,000 in upgrades. I know a guy who tricks out cars who can do it for about $100,000 and let me tell you, it would have a MONSTER stereo system.

My income is what they call naked income. None of it is in cash, it's all traceable which means I can't cheat. Well, I can but I'd rather not do five to ten years with a roommate called Bubba who thinks I look mighty cute in my prison orange. Sorry, Bubba, I'll keep paying what I owe.

I never used to understand friends of mine who complained about the amount of taxes they had to pay. I tried to use the argument that, if they had to pay that much in taxes, it meant that they made so much more that they got to keep. I don't feel that way now. It's mine and I want to keep it. Trust me, I know how to spend it better than the government does. They would just waste it on the military, helping the poor, educating kids and funding social security. Me? I'd spend it on fast cars, loose women and strong drink. Now you tell me, which is a better use of my money? I know, right?

In any event, I wrote the damn checks and sealed them in an envelope and sent them on their way. If Trump can't get Mexico to pay for the wall, then you know that little section just outside Tuscon? I paid for that personally. You're welcome.


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