Sigh. So, I would not be eligible for the Economic Stimulus refund because my parents claimed me as a dependent on their return. (Not that I’m complaining.. they did support me for 22 years, after all).
My tax obligation for 2008 will be high because I can shelter only ~$5,000 of my income (the standard deduction). A 401(k) wouldn’t be available for me until 2009 and I choose a Roth IRA over a tax-deductible traditional IRA.
My estimated state + federal refund for 2007 is a measly $800. (Yes I know about all the arguments for a low refund – free loan to the gov’t – yada yada yada… but still!)
I don’t regard taxes as just a necessary evil – taxes enable the government to fund “public goods” that markets simply cannot provide (not to discount the fact that waste or fraud can and do occur or that taxes don’t create inefficiencies). Taxes can create positive incentives (hello tax-advantaged retirement accounts!) and discourage negative behavior (taxes on pollution, for example).
Despite my very rational (and common?, I’d imagine) thought on taxes, the visceral reaction to difference between my gross income and my take-home pay is not a pleasant one. I think of every dollar on my paycheck as MY hard-earned money, and I don’t like to see this FICA dude take MY money.