On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
Remember to Pay the Kissing Tax
Don't forget, will you, to pay your kissing tax on April 15th. You'll find the form (1040-KT) at your local, friendly Post Office, and just as a public service I'm reminding you of the current rates. You will, I hope, have kept a careful daily log of all kisses placed, so as to be able to show the monthly summary on the Form and calculate the tax due.
Parent-child kisses rate at $5 per, and regular boy-girl kisses at $8, but don't forget the $7 surcharge for French ones. If you've been paying attention to the major newspapers you'll have read of the controversy surrounding same-sex kissing, with Senator Helms thundering that it should not be allowed at all but that meanwhile it should be taxed at $25 a pucker, but for the present he failed to carry a majority and those remain at a mere $10.
Don't cheat, now, for the Federal Kissing Monitors were everywhere, taking notes and photographs, and if you fail to report a kiss they saw, you'll be in deep trouble. Form 1040-KT is to be signed under penalty of perjury; so you can kiss goodbye to all those Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
The top part of Page 1 of the Form says you're to write in all your kissable friends and relations, so don't forget that they too will be filling out their 1040-KT's and that KRS Headquarters is well equipped with computers that match your SS# with theirs and that if you fail to name one on your Form when you appear on theirs, there is sure to be a KRS Audit in your future.
There are, of course, always a few who Question Authority, and who say that there is no such thing as a Kissing Tax. But look, all the newspapers say there is, and all the TV News people say we've got to pay it, and all those 1040-KTs have been printed up and mailed out and left lying around by the million, so there must be, right? - I mean, they couldn't all be fooling us, could they?
Well, I met one of them, last February, and his name was I*w*n Sc*i*f, and the government loathes him and calls him an illegal tax-protester, but he reckons he's actually an illegal-tax protester instead, and pointed out to me the vast difference between the two, depending on where you put the hyphen.
And he told me that although "everyone knows" there's a kissing tax, and that government judges (whose salary is paid by the kissing tax) love to jail anyone who doesn't, there truly is no law imposing a tax on kissing. Silly guy!
So I said, look, let's settle this once and for all; if you say there's no proper kissing tax, you go ahead and prove it to me. So he took a copy of the Law, and opened it up.
Seriously, that is exactly what should be done, right? If we want to know whether there is or is not a law that taxes kissing, we go look what has been written by the lawmakers. Yes? That seemed reasonable to me.
So I*w*n Sc*i*f opened up his copy of the KRS Code, which is three inches thick and has seven million words, and had me look in the Index; and sure enough, there was a whole column full of references to the Kissing Tax. But then he said, look a little more carefully.
He first asked me to look under "Tobacco Tax" for the words "Requirement" and "Penalty" and "Liability" and, sure enough, there were several references. It was quite clear that the KRS Code, as well as dealing with kissing, included laws about taxes on tobacco. And it quite clearly showed that certain people do have a "liability" to collect and pay those taxes, with "penalties" specified if they fail to obey those laws.
Then he said, look under "Alcohol Tax" and "Firearms" for the same words, and I did, and they were all there. We may argue about whether they should be there, or need repealing, but the true fact is that our Congress has certainly written laws about taxes on those things too, and specified penalties if we fail to pay them and/or account for them by means of a tax return.
Lastly he said, Now look for the same words under the Kissing Tax. And what do you know, I could not find one of them. For sure, there were far more pages in the Code relating to the Kissing Tax than to any other kind; but in the Index, at least, there was no reference to any "liability" to such a tax, nor to any "requirement" to file returns, nor to "penalties" for failing to obey. And I thought, maybe this guy has something; for clearly, the clever lawyers who drafted all these seven million words of law knew exactly what they were doing, and yet they haven't done the very simplest of things that must be done if you are trying to write down a real law. What's going on here?
Well, Mr Sc*i*f knows the KRS Code better than anyone on two feet, so we spent a deal more time than that looking at parts of it other than the Index, but the more we looked, the less we saw any clear and unambiguous statement that the government is compelling any of us to pay any tax whatever on any kiss whatever, or to file any return to account for such kissing as we have done. I also saw several striking paragraphs that seemed deceptive, like the one whose header or caption contained the strong legal word "Required" but whose actual text (the only part that actually constitutes Law) substitutes the much weaker word "Shall" - which Black's Law Dictionary says can merely mean "may"!
And so I came to see that there is no Kissing Tax, and never has been; that the strong rumor to the contrary is exactly that, and no more; that all the government's huffing and puffing to make us pay it is a deliberate, wicked deception. That it has never written one in to law, yet has cleverly pretended to do so; and for the simple reason that if they ever did it right, they would openly violate our Constitutional rights, such as those under Amendments 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and even 16. And so, I went to kiss my wife. Tax free.
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