Weekend Words: Tax

Marinus van Reymerswaele, "The Tax Collectors" (1540s), oil on panel, 94 x 77 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)
Marinus van Reymerswaele, “The Tax Collectors” (1540s), oil on panel, 94 x 77 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris. (image via Web Gallery of Art)

Good news from the IRS: you can be an artist even if you don’t make all that much money at it. Isn’t that what we needed to hear?

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”

—Luke, 2:1 (KJV)

“Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.”

—John Berryman

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”

—Gore Vidal

“It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the earth can sustain, and that human civilization will collapse when the number of, say, tax lawyers exceeds the world’s total population of farmers, weavers, fisherpersons, and pediatric nurses.”

—Barbara Ehrenreich

“In time of this grave national danger, when all excess income should go to win the war, no American citizen ought to have a net income, after he has paid his taxes, of more than $25,000 a year.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

“The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.”

—John Maynard Keynes

“If, as water stirred more circles be
Produced by one, love such additions take,
Those, like so many spheres, but one heaven make,
For they are all concentric unto thee;
And though each spring do add to love new heat,
As princes do in time of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate the spring’s increase.”

—John Donne, “Love’s Growth”

“Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket, or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.”

—Judith Viorst

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
“If you try to sit, I’ll tax the seat
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”

—George Harrison, “Taxman”

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

—Albert Einstein

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