Thoughts on Tax Day and Buy A Gun Day

Today is Tax Day in the USA.  I had the dubious pleasure this morning of mailing off two very substantial checks, one covering taxes owed for last year and the other my first quarterly self-employment tax payment for this year.  Together they added up to enough to buy a new car – a small one, admittedly, but even so, that ain’t pocket change.

It may sound odd, but I actually didn’t mind paying that amount.  As I wrote in 2013:

I can foresee the day when I’ll earn enough from my writing to be able to terminate my disability pension. That means a great deal to me. I was raised to believe that one shouldn’t ‘suck on the public teat’, as my father rather picturesquely put it, except in dire need, and then only for the shortest possible time. Back in 2004, a neurosurgeon predicted I’d never recover sufficiently from my injuries to earn a living through my own labor. I may not have recovered any better than he foresaw, but nevertheless, the prospect of proving him wrong is very satisfying!

This year I expect to earn enough from my writing to support myself.  That means a great deal to me, to be once again contributing to society through my taxes.  It may seem silly, but after all those years of hard work it’s a good feeling to see them bearing fruit.

Today is also known as Buy A Gun Day among firearms enthusiasts in the USA.  I haven’t bought one today, but I did arrange to trade one of mine for one owned by someone else, plus some cash.  We’ll finalize the deal and make the exchange over the weekend.  Did any of my readers get anything interesting in the shooty goodness line today?  If so, let us know in Comments.



  1. Congratulations, and thank you – on all counts.

    I picked up a project-grade Ithaca 37, 1956 vintage, which I will spend some time and money turning into a short-barrel version.

  2. I don't own a gun, though I demand the right to. I don't believe that anyone as fundamentally awkward as I am, and as scared of power saws as I am, has any damn business messing with a firearm. Maybe if I has more loose cash, and more free time, I would feel differently. As matters stand I depend on herd immunity. I live on the fringes of rural PA, and expect that at least 50% of my neighbors are gun owners. Of the farm dwellers, I expect that rises to 100%. Anybody doing a B&E in my neighborhood is minus some marbles, and I expect that most of the area nogoodniks know this.

    I'm with you on the taxes. I don't mind the taxes I pay, though the farther away the government that is getting the money is, the less I trust it to spend wisely. The problem isn't high taxes, the problem is too many politicians whoa re too fascinated with various pet projects, and too bored with the basics.

  3. Peter, I will disagree with you on taxes – they are way too high, especially at the federal level. The value returned for dollars spent is far too low.

    Were government, at all levels, strictly constrained to its constitutional corral, I think, first, taxes would be lower, and second, spent more effectively.

    Congrats, though, on becoming self supporting with your writing. That is indeed an accomplishment (one which will not prevent me from requesting that you write faster, a request I also made of Old NFO last weekend at Nashville).

    On the B.A.G. Day issue, I'll be a few days late because there's a local show this weekend at which I will pick up what my purveyor has had on order for some time.

  4. I agree with I.B. comment above about federal taxes being too high. I've seen the Feds use the excuse of cutting veterans benefits because of the lack of money. Cutting education for the lack of money. No work on our crumbling infrastructure – no money.

    Have you EVER seen them say that cutting welfare benefits should be done because of the lack of money? Not on my watch – if anything, the benefits seem to be accelerating. Its no wonder many choose to sit back and reap free benefits – the Feds ENCOURAGE it.

    Taxes need to be paid because we all benefit. I just wish the balance was more equal. No one should be comletely tax free.

    Very cool you purchased a firearm. Its been a while for me, over a year in fact. I'm still reeling over ammunition prices, especially rimfire. Seven dollars a box for 50 – holy moly!

  5. I sent off a deposit on a new gun which will take a year to get here and require a tax stamp. Does that count?

    BTW, meeting you and Wing was easily one of the high-points of the convention. You're both even cooler in real-life than you are on the internet.

  6. Congratulations, Peter! *applauds energetically* Oh, and if you felt your ears burning this morning, I used one of your South Africa stories (edited slightly for younger ears) in class today.


  7. Peter – do you jump out of your duelie, parked in your personal premier 'movie star' handicapped space and prance into Walmart, sashaying first to the prescription counter to get your vial of insulin, then off to the bakery for a few dozen cookies, maybe a cake or two, couple of pints of Ben and Jerry's?? Then off to pay for it with…. wait for it!! food stamps! Joy.

    I have read your blog now for years now and not once would I ever see you as a 'cheat' or sucking the teat. I doubt that you would take anything that you did not earn.

    You are one of the ones who DESERVE to receive a disability pension – you have a actual disability . You are one of those that I NEVER MIND PAYING TAXES TO HELP. EVER.

    You don't suck the teat. I would never see you that way.

    Fair Winds,

    Cap'n Jan

    P.S. By the way, I hope that your writing will provide you with wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Or at least a good living ;->

    We bought the gubmint a brand new Lincoln Town Car yesterday. The bright spot is that some of it will go to you. Unfortunately I don't get a say in WHERE it goes, else you'd get a big check ;-> and the IRS would have to hold a bake-sale.

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