Monday, October 10, 2005

The Writer and The Tax Man

I know, I promised no political chatter, but this really does come under the heading of The Business of Writing. It's just that it's so blasted hard to start talking about taxes and NOT stray off into ranting about politics.

One thing many aspiring writers fail to realize is that, as a semi-, quasi-, marginally, or even truly successful writer, you join the ranks of the self-employed. What this means in practical terms is that April 15th comes four times a year for you, on January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15, when you must file and pay your quarterly tax returns. This also means that, as both employer and employee, you wind up paying the full Social Security tax burden. (Most regular-paycheck type people never realize that their employer has to match their "contribution" to Social Security, dollar for dollar.)

I'll tell you one thing: if we didn't have payroll tax withholding -- if everyone had to examine their tax situation and write a check to the government every three months -- we would have a revolution on our hands.

And speaking of revolutions, I have to admit that I've been in a terrible funk for the last few weeks. I signed up for the Reagan Revolution...

I did not sign up for the Bush Cult of Not Much Personality, and when it came to Supreme Court appointees I was expecting a hell of a lot more than, "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (Or was that, "What, me worry?")

I'll tell you another thing: if La Famiglia Shrub actually believes that Jeb has a shot at any kind of national office in 2008, they really need to stop smoking crack.