Barry Evans
Barry Evans

One of my favorite books, is John Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.  The edition that I have was published in 1955, so quite a few of the quotations are not so familiar now.  Now some may recall the quote, “Taxation without representation is tyranny” which is attributed to good old James Otis with the claim that he expounded those words in 1763.  I wonder what Jim would think today of taxation with representation.  It appears that our representatives do an outstanding job of taxing us.  As you may imagine, I am thinking about doing my income taxes.

When I do mine, I always recall the words of Robert Peter Tristram Coffin who noted that “a man should choose with careful eye, the things to be remembered by”.  As you may infer a man with four names has to be a careful thinker. In this case, he does not want to be remembered for ending up in the hoosegow because he wasn’t careful in doing his income taxes. I believe he admirably followed his own recommendation, which most likely is why no one recalls his familiar quotation.  Therefore, I am putting it here so someone may read this and remember his quote – for a few minutes at least.  It may even stick while they are doing their income taxes, although I will admit that the sentence structure in his quote leaves something to be desired.

I don’t know about you, but at my age I am getting sick of preparing income tax forms.  I suggested to The Blonde in the house that she might like the glow of completion one enjoys when you finish and the completed forms go electronically off to the IRS.  Unfortunately, she says that she can do without the “glow”, and that her mother told her never to do the income taxes or it would become her job.  Her mother told her a number of things that often seem to come up when I am suggesting a shift in household responsibilities.  Besides she indicated that if I would take over the vacuuming, she might give my request some thought.  “Rats” was my quote.  I mean, an exchange of duties should be somewhat equal if they are to be considered.

I have reason to believe that I am not the only person on this planet who is tired of looking at forms, let alone filling them out.  I heard of one gentlemen who expressed his displeasure by paying his taxes, which were considerable, in pennies.  Unfortunately, he hadn’t noticed that the collection of pennies that he bought for the payment turned out to be Canadian.  He is now trying to find the proper pennies to pay his bail.  He should have listened to and followed the advice of James Thompson who back in 1748 commented that “A penny saved is a penny got”.  Of course back then, a penny was worth something.  Heck, you could buy a whole loaf of bread with a nice shiny penny.  True, it would be unsliced, but you can’t have everything.  Today, it costs more to make a penny than it is worth.

No wonder our representatives keep laying on the taxes – which naturally are only “temporary”!

Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com