Taxation (with representation)…

The sales flyers and ads on TV will tell you that today is Presidents Day. Title 5 of the United States Code, subsection 5103(a) defines it as Washington’s Birthday, and for my purposes, Washington’s Birthday is what I’m going with… Mostly because he was field commander who led the nation-in-waiting in a bloody war of independence at least in part over taxation without due representation. Despite his heroics, George Washington goes into the modern history books simply as a southern aristocrat. Most people don’t know much more about him than he owned slaves and may have been president at some point. That’s a shame, because Washington was basically America’s first badass action hero. He could have been king, but he laid down his sword and went home. What kind of ridiculous self control does it take to say no to a crown?

As usual, none of that is really the point. The point, dear friends, is that I’ll be spending a good chunk of Washington’s Birthday gathering my tax information and preparing to render unto Caesar. Washington’s war of liberation may have ensured that we’d have representation, but the taxation part is still completely out of hand.

They say it’s your birthday…

It’s Washington’s official birthday, which means your friendly neighborhood federal bureaucrats (and bank tellers) are enjoying a long weekend. As far as federal holidays go, this one is bittersweet. On one hand I’m ridiculously happy to have an extra day off, but on the other, it’s a reminder that it’s the last “free” day off until Memorial Day shows up late in May. As most of you undoubtedly know already, three months of normal 5-day work weeks is a very long time. It’s a shock to the system when you’ve gotten use to having one or more holidays in each month since November. With unemployment still running more than twice what it was a decade ago, the lack of holidays is probably a good problem to have, but that mental exercise doesn’t really make me feel any better about the long, uninterrupted march to summer. It might just be time to start thinking about drawing down some of the mountain of vacation time I’ve got sitting in the bank.

In the meantime, it’s off to celebrate General Washington’s birthday. What can a poor humble blogger add to the celebration of the man who refused to rule as king… other than wishing a few of our contemporary leaders would follow his example and go away after two terms.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.