The Wasatch Behind: Uncle Spud's tax shelter
"That settles it," Uncle Spud growled as he flung down his tax forms. "I'm going to renounce my citizenship."
"Why would you do that?" I asked. "You're one of the most patriotic old geezers I know."
"It's becoming a matter of economic survival," he said. "I can't afford to be a tax paying citizen anymore. After paying federal and state income taxes, property tax, local taxes, business taxes, social security, Medicare, sales tax, gas tax, excise tax, and Price City's new Zap tax (appropriately named, by the way), I've got nothing left. And then they charge fees for everything. Fees for renewing licenses and fees for paying taxes. Do you know that it costs $25.00 to drive State Highway 9 between Springdale and Mount Carmel Junction because the road crosses Zion's Park? We're screwed when we have to pay a scenic view tax to drive a state road. I promised the official ticket ranger that I'd close my eyes and not look at the expensive government scenery if he'd knock off part of the fee, but he wouldn't go for it. He said I might peek, especially since I was driving. It's becoming impossible. I feel like Uncle Sam is using me for a tax cow, except that I have to furnish my own feed, barn, and milk bucket. He just collects the milk and skims the cream."
"Yea," I said. "It's tax time again isn't it?"
"And I've had enough," he said. "I'm going to do something about it."
"Like what?" I asked.
"I'm going to go to Mexico, publicly renounce my citizenship, and then sneak back across the border as an illegal alien."
"Why would you do that?" I asked.
"It's a poor man's tax shelter," he said. "Illegals don't pay taxes. Most get paid under the table and it's all free money. That's how they get by on lower wages. They don't pay social security or Medicare either. They just wait to collect it. Some in congress want to give it to them now. Millions draw welfare benefits too, an estimated 40 percent of the 12 to 15 million illegals. I have a job, a home, a car, and I pay property taxes, so I don't qualify for any handouts. I just pay for them. There are lots of other reasons to be an illegal alien too."
"Like free medical care," he said. "Illegals don't have to buy insurance and their medical care is free. They go to the emergency room for a headache and our laws say they must be treated. That's one of the reasons you have to mortgage your house to see a doctor nowadays. You and I are paying the medical bills for a whole lot of people who get a free ride."
"And then there are the schools," he said. "Illegals get everything free; free breakfast, free lunch, transportation, fees, books, etc. We have to increase class sizes, hire more teachers, and hire special bi-lingual instructors and counselors to accommodate them and they don't pay property taxes toward funding the school district. You and I do that."
"And then there are crime benefits too," he smiled. "If I get caught doing a crime, I get jailed, fined, and my reputation is ruined. If an illegal is arrested for the same thing, he's most often given a free ride back to Mexico where he simply crosses our border a second time to make a new start. We arrest some of them three and four times. If you're inclined to be like Bonnie and Clyde, illegal alien status is often a "get out of jail free" card. And even then, a full 30 percent of our prison population is made up of illegal aliens. What does that cost? So don't tell me illegals are all hard working people who come here to make an honest living. Some are Visigoths, here to loot Rome."
"But what are you going to do when congress grants amnesty and offers you free citizenship?" I asked with a big smile.
"I'll go back to Mexico and hang out until it all blows over," he said, "And then I'll sneak back as an illegal again. Who would want to be a citizen when the benefits are so good for being illegal? You tax cows can pay my way."