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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

15 Responses

  1. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Today I am gathering together all of my tax documents for my accountant. My financial advisor says you should file as soon as you can because of the increasing number of identity thieves who steal refunds during tax season.

    See my comments under Andrei Navrozov’s post to see what some of my taxes are supporting in our local libraries.

  2. Frank Brownlow says:

    Oh yes, taxation is a massive expropriation by the idle and non-productive of the industrious and creative. And as for the educational system it funds, it’s child-abuse on a huge scale.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    It’s good to have Take Five back after the long hiatus. I hope you gentlemen will get back on a roll. Suggested Topics, I’d like to see covered: 1. Now that Trump seems to be letting down his base, should we still vote for him in 2020; 2. Christchurch in the overall context of post-9/11 terrorism

  4. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    And when will Christchurch be renamed Allahmosque?

  5. Dot says:

    According to the AP in my state, the person running for Lt. Gov. wants to be the “campaign’s progressive voice”. He wants to “create an “”affordable public health option plan”” using the resources from existing Medicaid and state employee insurance programs.”” This sounds like a tax on a tax to me.

  6. Dot says:

    P.S. The AP article was published on 3/14/19. The article also sounds like a health plan in addition to existing health plans.

  7. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    In Maryland they are trying to force State retirees to get Medicare Part D for prescriptions in order to reduce costs. Retirement plan costs are underfunded as they continue to rise.

  8. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    When I gave my tax info to my accountant I included itemized deductions, but he will have to do my taxes two ways to determine if I should take the standard deduction or itemize. That is because of the latest change in Fed tax raising the standard deduction. Maryland did not change the state rule requiring use of the same type of deduction on state returns as used on federal returns.

    I might pay a higher tax using the itemized deduction on my federal return but save enough on my state return to offset it. Have to do both ways to determine which way gives me the lowest tax bill.

  9. James D. says:

    What a shame that you have to waste brain power thinking about something as mundane as that. I often wonder if I could have learned another language or learned to play the piano, if I didn’t have to update Windows so often, or read every email that comes from my corporate overlords. I’ve spent the last month learning a new software program, which is full of bugs and errors. What a waste. I am jealous of the older guys who are close to retirement and have mailed it in. I have reverted back to my middle school stance tha t computers are for geeks and nerds who should be stuffed in lockers.

    I taught my five year old to ride a bike this weekend, so all is not lost. Throwing a ball with my kids or cooking with my wife are still the best moments. I wasted hours putting together my tax return last week, as well. But, I could really do without all of the idiotic bull yankee that is required to work a soulless, faceless monstrosity and pay my rulers more than half my income.

  10. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I used to complain that the same government that makes taxpaying so time-consuming should pay us for the time we spend filling out their forms. The rate would be whatever we earn normally. They would soon simplify the system.

  11. Dot says:

    I owe $$ to State and Federal government this year. Reason? I didn’t give enough “as gifts” for 2018. As a matter of fact I donated or gifted very little. Therefore, on April 15 what I owe will automatically be deducted from my account.

    This year and last you can give. as gifts, up to $15,000 to anyone, even your children or any organization such as a church, or college.
    The maximum amount can change. For 2018 it was $15,000. It is the same amount for 2019. Because I am having to pay Federal and State taxes this year, I am giving as gifts enough to avoid paying . gov these extra taxes. The person receiving these gifts do not have to report it at tax time. Of course, more than the maximum would have to be reported.

    My son has a college plan for his children that he funds. I do not know if that is considered a gift or not. All I know is that he doesn’t have to report what I gave him to the IRS. Likewise for my daughter.

  12. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Dot – under current tax laws it is the gift-giver who is responsible for the tax, not the recipient. If I understand my accountant correctly, you can gift up to $10M tax-free during your lifetime.

  13. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Dr Fleming- when I was younger I did Fed and state tax returns for my two daughters and mother-in-law in addition to my joint return. What a miserable chore. Now my accountant does my taxes and he is worth every penny I pay him. If there is a problem later on he takes care of it. One time MD put my estimated tax payments into the wrong account. My accountant got it straightened out much faster than I could at no additional cost.

    Count me among the people who enjoy life more by paying other people to do things that I used to do myself. I no longer do yard work or auto maintenance and I have a service that cleans my gutters every quarter and another that eliminates pests like mosquitos in my yard. Gives me more time to visit your wonderful site and read good books.

  14. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I have been paying a CPA for 35 years and it is money well spent! I still have to spend a few hours, which–if I were to bill out at the rate I used to charge for consulting–would still be more than I pay my accountant.

  15. Dot says:

    Mr. Van Sant: True, the gift recipient is not responsible for the tax – unless the amount he receives is in excess of the allowable gift for a given year. In 2018 it was $15,000 / recipient. For 2019 / recipient it is $15,000. In 2017 the maximum gift to a person was $14,000. Since I am not an accountant, I am assuming that if the gift were $16,000 he would have to pay tax on the extra &1,000 for the &15,000 max gift.
    True, I am responsible for the tax but my tax burden is greater this year for 2019. All the other previous years I received some money from the state and Federal government. Unless this year is different, when all is said and done, I will be paying state and Federal taxes of a greater amount than all previous years and I believe it is related to the fact that I brought in more in relation to what I put out as gifts and donations.

    This tax business is one thing I don’t do. I rely on my tax accountant and he always informs me if the state and Federal government is in agreement with what he presents. There has never been a discrepancy.