Giving Thanks On Tax Day

BY BRIAN RUDDOCK

This tax season, I’m reminded yet again of how good the federal government is to me. For a modest $150 TurboTax fee and hours of my spare time, I have the ability to file a request for a tiny portion of my own money to be returned to me in six months. If I’m lucky!

How beneficent a government that allows me to reclaim (some) of the fruits of my own labor. After all, income, savings, stocks, and all other capital is rightfully owned by politicians. I have no moral or logical claim to any of it.

Thank goodness that the government holds onto all of my funds (which are rightfully theirs) until deciding how much allowance they will give back to me. An institution with such a sterling reputation for fiscal responsibility knows how to use my capital better than I do.

Thank goodness, for example, that they withhold a large percentage of my income to eventually give me Social Security benefits that I am certain to receive in old age. Or that they keep much of my money to support the thriving public schools. What would I do if not provided the safety net established by the invasion of a remote non-sovereign state?

If anything, I’m not taxed enough! The government only taxes money that I spend (sales tax), earn (income tax), invest (capital gains), or do nothing with (implied taxation through weakening of the dollar).

Sometimes I’m tempted to think that the following real life scenario is unfair: my employer paid a corporate tax on $500 before giving it to me. I then paid income tax on that money, before paying capital gains tax on the pennies of interest it accrued me in a savings account. I took the remaining dollars and purchased stock in a natural gas company, which was then taxed on the income it received from my shares. When those shares yielded me a 40-cent dividend, those were taxed. And when my few hundred dollars of stock yielded me a profit of fifty dollars, that profit was taxed again.

Alas, I don’t pay my fair share. Like Warren Buffet, I agree that many of us should have to pay more, and I think the government should use coercion in order to make them to agree with me! (Why would I solve this personal moral crisis by simply donating my own money, willingly, to the federal government?)

This time of year really reminds me what an equitable and kind government we live under.

Tax season? Nay – that sounds so negative. Henceforth, I declare the middle of April to be Thanksgiving, II!

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The Keys To the Future of the Seton Hall Law SBA

THE YI! NEWS EDITORIAL BOARD

Today is a time of great political, economic and social unrest in our nation. One need not look past their newspaper’s front-page nor their smartphone’s homepage to recognize the significant and complicated issues that confront us everyday and perplex us every second.

Our law school community is hardly impervious to the forces affecting our world and society at large. In these unstable times, it is of crucial importance that we – not only as a body of law school students, but as future leaders of our communities and our state – partake in the utmost in our democratic process to ensure that our elected representatives reflect our perspectives and are prepared to voice our concerns.

It is with these very important values in mind that we, the recently-formed but hardly recently-opinionated editorial board of Yi! News, officially endorse the following individuals to carry on the great tradition of students at the Seton Hall University School of Law.

First, we endorse Gezim Bajrami as the next president of the Student Bar Association. We believe that Gezim, also known as “Zimmy,” will most embody the spirit of students and the mission of his peers as he leads the school into its future. In recent years, the student body has failed to reach an optimal connection with its respective presidents, and the school community as a whole has suffered as a result. This year’s other candidates represent more of the same. We believe Zimmy, with his unique history and experience as a person of the people, will return the position of SBA President to one that truly is a representative of our diverse student body.

To join Zimmy in this most important of endeavors, we endorse Lauren Keith as the next vice president of the SBA. With a platform specifically focused on improving the mentor program and repairing the lines of communication between the SBA and the students, Keith represents the ideal balance of experience and enthusiasm as our school elects the individual most responsible for maintaining the crucial relationship between students and their representatives.

“I truly believe in the promise of the Seton Hall Law School community,” said Keith in a statement submitted to Yi! News on Sunday morning. “I have felt at home ever since walking through that then-easier -to-push revolving door at orientation. I think – despite what some nay-sayers may put forth – the SBA as a whole has been beyond responsive and effective as a voice of the students.”

Keith, who has served as a committee chair during her time on the SBA, said she seeks to do what is necessary to ensure that our student body is one where every person is informed and also feels free to voice their opinion.

Our third but equally important endorsement is for Jennifer Vasquez as the next treasurer of the SBA. As our school reacts to varying financial freedoms and restraints, it is imperative that we elect a representative who is both vigilant and vivacious when it comes to exercising the SBA budget. We believe this is a role that Vasquez is well-suited for.

“My goal will be to responsibly and transparently disburse SBA funds not only for traditional events, but to also encourage the realistic incorporation of new traditions,” said Vasquez is a statement to Yi! News. “My vision is to have an SBA and a treasurer that are true reflections of our amazing school, its diversity and its promising future.”

Polls are open for Seton Hall Law students beginning today. Please use your vote wisely.