Ladies and gentlemen, taxes are very important. Taxes fund things we all like and depend upon: health care for the elderly, public schools, roads and infrastructure, and the military. I think if we paid higher taxes, we would be able to get more great stuff! Another thing: isn’t it nutty that rich people pay a smaller percentage of their income to the government than middle-class people? I think that’s pretty crazy. I guess if I had to sum up my opinion on taxes in three words, they would be these: “Taxes, taxes, taxes.” And another thing —
Sorry, hold on. It looks like I just got an email.
I wonder why my parents’ accountant would possibly need to email me. And why is the subject line “Your tax return?” I don’t need to file a tax return, right? Only adults have to do that, and I’m definitely not an adult. Plus I make, like, no money. Well, I suppose it is my civic duty to pay taxes. What do I owe, like $20?
OK, let’s scroll right down. Wow, this thing is, like, 30 pages long. And here it is. WHAT!? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I OWE [amount of money]?!? THAT IS LIKE [fraction] OF [total amount of money I made this year]!!! PLUS I ONLY EARNED [total amount of money I made this year]!!! WHICH IS NOT ENOUGH FOR ME TO HAVE TO PAY [amount of money]!!!
OK, Jordan, stop crying and vomiting everywhere. It’s going to be OK. You see, some of the money you earned this year came in the form of a grant, for which a 1099 form is issued instead of a W2 form. This means that the Social Security tax is not withheld by the hiring firm, so you need to pay that tax now —
SHUT UP. SHUT UP. SHUT UP. YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. BUT STILL. I. WHAT. BUT. HUH? WELL. IT’S NOT RIGHT. IT JUST SEEMS EXCESSIVE. BECAUSE THAT’S MY MONEY AND I EARNED IT, AND I DESERVE TO KEEP IT.
Jordan. You love taxes! How cool is it that you get to give some of your money to the government you love so much? Plus, don’t you think it would be awfully ironic that you, who support raising taxes, would object so strongly now that you have to pay, yourself? Don’t you think that would be awfully hypocritical?
BUT DON’T YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE? I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY BECAUSE IT’S MY MONEY AND I EARNED IT. WHY CAN’T THEY JUST MAKE SOME RICH DUDE PAY [amount of money] EXTRA? HE WOULDN’T CARE! HE’S RICH! PLUS, SOCIAL SECURITY WILL TOTALLY BE BANKRUPT BY THE TIME I’M OLD ENOUGH TO BENEFIT FROM IT.
Cut the crap, Jordan. This obviously isn’t about [amount of money]. This is about something more, I think. What’s bothering you?
NOTHING. IT’S JUST IT’S A LOT OF MONEY. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE. I WANT TO CRY A BIT.
OK. Fine. I guess having to pay taxes just means times are changing. For all the years I’ve looked forward to being an adult, now that I’m on the precipice, it makes me anxious. In past years, savings were just that — they never amounted to much. But, I mean, look at this tax! I’m paying into Social Security; that’s all about setting aside for later, making investments toward a future, toward a secure life. And I guess I’m anxious about taking responsibility for my own destiny, you know? It’s exciting, but it’s a little scary.
Wow, Jordan. That was really honest of you. I think I’m feeling a lot of the same apprehension as you. I guess that makes sense, since I am you. But you’re ready, Jordan. We’re ready —
JUST KIDDING. I WAS LYING. NO WAY I’M PAYING THIS. RING ME UP FOR TAX EVASION!!! I DON’T EVEN CARE!!! I WILL BE YOUNG FOREVER!!! I WILL NEVER DIE!!!