Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

State-Sponsored Lifestyle

I did our taxes this weekend. I'd been afraid that we might owe money, because we claimed several allowances on our W-4s, but we actually ended up with a very big refund (over 25% of the tax we'd paid in withholding.

It turns out that in 2003, we really fell into a lot of the niches that the tax code is favorable to:
- married (with one spouse underemployed)
- homeowners
- spending money on post-high-school education (reduced because of our high income, but still a substantial tax credit)
- we even got to deduct $250 of the unreimbursed expenses Lori took on as a schoolteacher.

The refund will certainly come in handy for the house maintenance we need to do this year, but I feel a bit odd about being so favored by the tax code. I don't feel so needy that I feel we really deserve preferential treatment. (On the other hand, I don't feel so noble as to turn it down--I remember reading of a Supreme Court ruling that declared it was not at all unpatriotic, to say nothing of illegal, to pay the least tax one was entitled to pay.)

I try to be conscious of my own privilege as a white upper-middle-class male, but few things underscore my privilege so much as this.
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