Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

TWU's Tax Attitude

Well, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 will soon conclude the ratification vote on the contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It is a real sellout by Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg. The benefits under the new contract include, but are not limited to: Lifetime medical coverage, the pension kick-in refund discussed in this blog's 3 January 2006 posting, and no prescription drug deductible for retirees. TWU is boasting and gloating over the success of their illegal strike, and indeed, Pataki's boys gave them plenty over which to boast and gloat.

That the taxpayers are footing such a steep bill is one thing, but what really galls is the attitude of the TWU and its members.

Well, it seems that the attitude of at least one TWU member, Alexander Hyatt, goes even beyond the official union extreme. Hyatt, you see, has taken the position that he is not responsible for paying New York State income taxes on his MTA wages.

Nobody is expected to actually enjoy paying one's taxes. Taxes and the bureaucracies that collect them were no doubt viewed with negativity even as far back as when King Hammurabi imposed taxes upon his subjects. And if NASA finds intelligent civilizations on distant planets, the smart money says that populace of such civilizations will similarly detest the taxation process.

But everyone is expected to comply with the tax laws, even if there be no smile on one's face. And the complexity of the tax laws frequently leaves room for ambiguity and dispute in the computation of one's tax. But government employees, whose support derives directly from the taxes paid by the citizenry, have a special obligation to timely comply with the tax laws as best they can. Mr. Hyatt has stepped well beyond a bona fide contrary position rooted in the tax code's complexity.

Alexander Hyatt and other MTA employees who flout their tax obligations should be terminated from their positions. But given the spinelessness thus demonstrated by Pataki and Kalikow, expect Hyatt's contemptuous attitude to continue.


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