Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Big Pond in the Sky

I did not take this pic, and do not like it

Yes, it's true, in some ways I have a charmed life. I am CS' Paris Hilton, without the chihuahuas. I keep reminding him to stop being poor, but some messages just can't ever seem to land. He is resistant to the finer things in life. I do what I can, but he may be beyond reach or repair.

I sit here again this morning at the big A-frame window watching the sun come up over Lake Tahoe. It is even more beautiful than it was yesterday with the rich pinks lining the horizon. I know that color functions as a possible warning for our drive home, but who cares, we will have a full day of skiing and snowboarding. The drive home will take care of itself. My Audi is all-wheel-drive, so what could we possibly have to worry about. 

I have started calling the place Tahoe Lake just to piss people off. It grates against their expectations and people do not care for that. Comfortable people should have their sensibilities disrupted from time to time, if not entirely upended. That's what the IRS has just done to me. For the first time in my life I have money set aside for an emergency, or perhaps to buy a house. But I made the mistake of saving too much of it too quickly, through the sale of stocks. The mathematicians that work for the government decided that I was their kind of citizen and generously bumped me up into the next tax bracket, which allows them to take enough money from me to knock me down into the next tax bracket. Instead of calling this a wash, they just keep a lot more of my money than I expected. This resulted in. me making less money than I did the year before, by making more money in 2020. That's not a joke, they literally took all of my raises, post-tax bonuses, and even some of my stock sales away from me. I kept much less only because I made some more. 

Complaining about it is not patriotic, I know. What I've learned from the experience is to never just barely enter the next tax bracket. You should always make enough to leap to the center or higher of it. Anything less really does feel as if you're being punished for your ambition and success. 

It is only a matter of time before I start decrying the wastes of social welfare programs, advocating for a flat tax for all.