By Lowering My Income, I Gave Myself a Raise

Thanks to Lynette Warren of No Treason! for plugging The Picket Line . Lynette writes of her own project, saying in part:

I’ve gone fishin’. Instead of working 12 months/yr, I work about 5 months and my bottom line after taxes is amazingly close to what it was when I was working full-time. Many find that hard to believe. I was skeptical myself until I actually did it, but things have turned out well since I shrugged off nearly all my tax burden. Still, the most amazing thing to me about it is how few in number are the people who will even consider decreasing their gross income in order to increase their net hourly wage. My theory is that they just don’t want to know. They want to believe that 40 hours (plus overtime) of honest work will get them ethical treatment from the powers-that-be so they just won’t look at it.

It’s true that one of the delights of lowering my tax burden this year was that I effectively gave myself a raise. I was working much less, and so making less money overall, but I felt as though someone had given me a huge bonus combined with a multi-month sabbatical. I’ll feel even better in when I can send away to the IRS for a complete refund of all of the money they took from me at .

The typical American, according to Tax Foundation, spends more work days earning money for Congress than they do earning money for just about anything else in their budget:

pie chart

How Long America Works to Pay Taxes in Days Compared to Major Spending Categories,

from: Tax Freedom Day

American taxpayers: For 74 days this year when you clock in, remind yourself who you’re doing it for.

Here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post that reads, in part:

Avila’s first official act when he took office [as mayor of Ecatepec] last month was to abolish parking and traffic fines in this city of 2.5 million people just north of Mexico City. Avila, 34, a soft-spoken lawyer with curly hair, is nobody’s anarchist. He’s just looking for radical new ways to solve one of Mexico’s most annoying problems: cops demanding bribes.

The mayor’s theory is that if police officers can’t threaten drivers with tickets, they can’t shake them down.… Avila confiscated all the ticket books in town and piled them up on his desk in city hall.

A survey by Transparency Mexico, the local branch of Transparency International, showed there were at least 200 million shakedowns a year, two for each of Mexico’s 100 million people.…

“The social benefit of doing this is greater than what we lose in revenue.” Avila said that if the anti-bribery scheme works, he plans to extend it to other city departments; his next step will be to eliminate most city building permits.