I had a dream last night. I wished I could give more to the poor, to the unfortunate in this world. In my dream, I struggled to figure out how I could give more. How, oh how, could I give more? As luck would have it, I was offered a job at a fairly good rate — $200,000 a year. Now, I know that’s not much, but it was a start. Of course, I informed my perspective employer that I am a PHILANTHROPIST and most importantly, I am COMPASSIONATE. Well, this put him on notice. They knew they would have to ante up or lose me. The negotiation began.

To begin with, I couldn’t live on $200,000 a year if I had to pay for a home. So, I insisted rightly that my mortgage should be paid. Of course, I can’t be expected to pay for homeowner’s insurance or association fees. This they agreed to, but I informed them that the upkeep of my home would be too expensive given my commitment to philanthropy — yard, housekeeping, repair — they’d have to provide for those necessities. Next came the transportation issue. Cars? Insurance? Registration? Fuel? Repair? Chauffeurs. For heaven’s sake, I couldn’t be responsible for those expenses. They agreed. At this point I knew we understood each other. So I demanded they pay for my hair cuts, my health insurance, my groceries, phone bill, power, gas, and dry cleaning.

The next round of negotiation was critical. Naturally, my travel expenses would have to be covered — a private plane would do, I told them. First-class accommodations at the finest hotels is expected. As for my dining — all meals — anywhere — with anyone — and at any cost — must be covered.

These perks aren’t really a part of my income. I deserve them, tax free because, well, I deserve them. I couldn’t think of many other things which I deserved until I remembered entertainment. Got everything I needed in that department too — all gratis.

Before you think me greedy, I remind you, without these benefits which are untaxed, how could I live on $200,000 a year and truly realize my philanthropic convictions? I’m sure you understand, everyone feels this way, right?

Satisfied, I went home to my wife to make the happy announcement. We sat around the dinner table discussing the possible benefactors of our good fortune. After an hour of thoughtful debate, we determined which of our favorite charities should receive the BIG check. As I wrote that check for $353 dollars (a full .17 percent of my income) I marveled — what would the unfortunates of the world do without compassionate, giving people like me, willing to undergo the rigorous negotiations and sacrifice I endured to achieve nothing for myself but only for them? Pondering this further, it came to me. There aren’t enough people like me in these United States — we must mandate charity! And the only way to do so is through progressive and oppressive taxes! Ahh. I awoke refreshed, satisfied, and confident of my mission.

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