January 29th, 2016

The cost of being American...


It's that time of year again, when American workers get to see how many of their hard-earned dollars were contributed to taxes, social security and Medicare in 2015. You can see my contribution to the system here, in the W-2 Form that was just handed to me by our cute mail room boy.

- Salary: $114,107.40 - this is $30,000 less than prior years because I now work a reduced schedule to have more time to pursue hobbies and passions, and mostly for mental balance. I don't want to waste my life away at the computer or desk, and need other forms of intellectual stimulation besides legal work to stay sane.
- Federal Income Tax Withheld: $22,137.33!!
- Virginia State Tax Withheld: $6,077.78
- Social Security Withheld: $7,074.66
- Medicare: $1,654.56

The last two are contributions to the Federal government's pension and medical insurance plans for retirees. I will see none of this money until at least age 62, when you can begin to collect a pension, and it will not be enough for survival. As a result, I have a separate investment plan on my own and through my work, where a certain percentage of my salary is invested in stocks and bonds. I've had this since I first started working at age 16. My parents always made me aware that it's necessary to first be able to support and provide for yourself, and for this I'm very grateful. Perhaps it helps you better understand why I have absolutely no relation to females who rely on men solely for financial support and basic living needs. I get few tax breaks because I have no children, and can't claim them as dependents or receive tax credits. I get a larger portion than necessary deducted so I usually get a refund of about $1,000 - $2,000 each year. I use these funds for my annual birthday trip each February. The only relief I can claim is through interest paid on my doctorate loans and real estate property I own.

So, which do you think is better? A flat tax system like Russia, or being taxed based on income and earning brackets as in the U.S.? The more you earn, the more you pay....seems fair to me.