FOUR HOURS. That's how long it took us to do our taxes last night. Yeah, yeah, I know, major procrastination, but who cares as long as it's done by the 17th, right? And I tip my hat to the folks at Turbo Tax who, despite not including some really useful functions, have at least made it possible for the average person to do taxes without having a coronary or filing for divorce right after filing their 1040.
Even so, I nearly went on a killing spree driven by sheer frustration trying to sort receipts and calculate mileage and figure out WHY WHY WHY Turbo Tax makes you start entire sections over instead of letting you go back one screen half the time. We lost close to $500 in deductions thanks to some flaws in their software design, and while I tried desperately to figure out how to get them back, Abby decided it was time to scream and not be happy with anything we tried to do for her. You know, I think someone could run for president on the one-issue platform of MAJOR tax reform and win by a landslide. S/he'd have my vote. Truly, it's ridiculous that you need to either go to college or by computer software just to understand the stuff if you do more than your average 40 hour a week job. Try living the American dream by starting a business or being self-employed, and suddenly the American government is bludgeoning you over the head with eight million pages of tax law that you need to master if you want to get back every cent that you've the right to have. I have no problem paying taxes--I'm not an anarchist, I know we need a government, and taxes make it run--but when I get cheated out of my own money, I get a wee bit testy.
Anyway, after thinking last night about the nearly-guaranteed win for a candidate promising sweeping tax reform, my subconscious of course ran with the idea and made me dream that I was running for president. Oddly, though, my platform was based on restoring morality to our society and had nothing to do with taxes. Whatever. Anyway, it was cool doing the press conferences and debates with my competition.