by Byrne Hobart
A single letter to the editor in a small Texas town has made it around the country in just a few weeks. Ed Barnett, a typical taxpayer, penned this justified rant to his hometown Wichita Times Record News (I am assuming their archrival is the Wichita Daily Weekly Recorder Courier Journal Democrat-Republican):
I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to pay taxes owed April 15, but all is not lost.
I have paid these taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog licence tax, federal income tax, unemployment tax, gasoline tax, hunting licence tax, fishing licence tax, waterfowl stamp tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, liquor tax, luxury tax, medicare tax, city, school and county property tax (up 33 percent last 4 years), real estate tax, social security tax, road usage tax, toll road tax, state and city sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, state franchise tax, state unemployment tax, telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal state and local surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone state and local tax, utility tax, vehicle licence registration tax, capitol gains tax, lease severance tax, oil and gas assessment tax, Colorado property tax, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico sales tax, and many more that I can’t recall but I have run out of space and money.
When you do not receive my check April 15, just know that it is an honest mistake. Please treat me the same way you treated Congressmen Charles Rangle, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and ex-Congressman Tom Dashelle and, of course, your boss Timothy Geithner. No penalties and no interest.
P.S. I will make at least a partial payment as soon as I get my stimulus check.
He’s touched a nerve: Google an excerpt from the letter, and you’ll find dozens of quotes on blogs and message boards. The question is: how many Ed Barnetts are out there? How many of them were waiting for him to say what the rest of them were thinking? And what will that mean for us on April 15th?