The Sad Case of the Disappointing Paycheck

This is how I wish I felt after my first paycheck.

This is how I wish I felt after my first paycheck. Courtesy of

I knew this would happen. Everyone told me it would happen. Yet I still somehow believed that maybe, just maybe, my first paycheck from this new job would be better than expected. Well, it turns out this was just (delusional) wishful thinking. Things were worse than I expected and they haven’t even taken my health insurance benefits out!

A few weeks ago I blogged about my very exciting 90% pay raise. This may sound impressive but it’s really not if you happen to know how much I was making before. If you don’t, I will tell you: Practically nothing. Anyway, as you may have guessed, my new job paycheck didn’t exactly LOOK like I was being paid 90% more. It turns out that in the real world, there are these things called taxes. And not just one kind…you have to deal with federal AND state taxes. So right off the bat, goodbye 20%. Then there are these things called entitlements…thanks to Medicare and Social Security I can say goodbye to another 7.5%. Then there’s the county retirement plan which takes another 5.3%. Factor in health insurance, dental insurance and life insurance and I’m down yet another 5%! So my paycheck is almost 40% less than my gross earnings.

This really shouldn’t be surprising. Everyone told me your check is never as good as you hope it will be, but it’s a little sad to see 40% of your income leave you just like that. It’s gone forever, never to return again. Well, unless you get a good tax return. I’ve decided to pin all my hopes on that.

Anyway, there I was, sitting on the couch feeling depressed about the state of my finances when I decided this whole 40% chunk out of my paycheck thing is OK. Not great, but OK. I’ve never really been one of those anti-tax kind of people. After all, I got a pretty good public education and can’t complain about the state of my sidewalks or neighborhood roads…so I have to believe my taxes are going to (mostly) good use. Sure, they’re going to some bad use too, but what can you do besides start a campaign to return to the bartering system?

To make myself feel better about the fact that I’m not actually making 90% more than I was before, I did a little Internet research about why taxes are good and found a BuzzFlash list on what to do if you don’t like paying taxes. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Don’t drive on paved streets or highways.
  • Don’t call 911. Don’t call the police when you get robbed.
  • Don’t ask for a taxpayer subsidy to do business in a city or state.
  • Don’t buy a sports franchise and ask the taxpayers to build your stadium.
  • Don’t send your children to public schools.
  • Don’t attend a state university.
  • Don’t expect a social security payment.
  • Don’t let Medicare pay your bills if you are over 65 or disabled.
  • Don’t run for political office where your salary is paid for by the taxpayers.
  • Don’t accept government research findings that subsidize research for your industry.
  • Don’t climb to the top of the Washington Monument, which is maintained at taxpayer expense.
  • Don’t make use of police services.
  • Don’t be rescued by fire department paramedic team.
  • Don’t call the fire department.
  • Don’t expect federal assistance if a natural disaster destroys your home or business.
  • Don’t expect the military to defend your country.
  • Don’t visit national parks or hike in national forests.
  • Don’t look at a NASA generated picture.
  • Don’t use the public library.
  • Don’t go to a state university affiliated hospital.
  • Don’t watch state college sports.
  • Don’t ask to use the G.I. bill to go to college.
  • Don’t use currency printed by the US Treasury.
  • Don’t use a bank or credit union that insures your deposits through the FDIC.
  • Don’t buy or build a house that requires the efforts of county deed offices or needs building permits and inspections.
  • Don’t get married, have children or die and expect the government to keep track of all the certificates.
  • Don’t visit public museums.
  • Don’t cross a bridge.
  • Don’t use truck stops or public restrooms.
  • Don’t move to any other developed nation, because the taxes are higher in all
  • the others, except South Africa.
  • Don’t expect your tap water to be clean and germ free.
  • Don’t eat any food transported on roads.
  • Don’t expect clean air, clean water, clean soil, etc.
  • Don’t expect highway signs.
  • Don’t expect anyone to plow your roads when it snows or sweep them when they’re dirty.
  • Don’t expect your children to be able to ride the bus to school.
  • Don’t visit the Smithsonian.
  • Don’t expect the court to appoint a taxpayer-paid attorney to represent you (or your child) when you are accused of a crime.
  • Don’t call or go to the US Embassy in a foreign country when you get in trouble.

Thanks BuzzFlash for making me feel better! And by the way, what is BuzzFlash? BuzzFeed’s less popular little brother? A BuzzFeed rip-off?

Categories: Me, Me, Me

Tags: , , , ,

7 replies

  1. I so hate getting paid because I hate watching it go just as quickly. Oh, and taxes blow.

  2. I totally agree with your attitude on taxes. Once you remember everything they’re being used for, you realize that we’re actually getting a pretty good bargain. I would pay a lot more to keep my favorite parks going, my streets in usable condition, and my community vibrant and safe.

  3. I only lose about 22%. Of course, I have to kids who take up the 78% that I have left!


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