For the first time ever… chicken remorse?

Chickens Bonding

It’s not that I miss the chickens.  They were, of course, fun to watch and  wonder about and probably taught me a lot about group behavior, both foul and human.  But in truth… I can’t say I want to renew my chicken vows.  Not the feeding and watering parts.  Not the tending the sick part.  Not in being the arbitrator in their cluck-fights.  No.  I’m happy without the girls.

However, I do miss them just a skosh when the day is galloping by and there’s not a bit of news or gossip to write about for my blog.  Like today.  I’ve been working on the dreaded income tax — sorting piles of papers and trying to make intelligent decisions.  Not blog material by any stretch.

The Louisa Morrison, Oyster Schooner

I wonder what my forebears thought when they confronted the first income tax.  It was a one-time tax, levied by Congress in 1861 to help pay for the Civil War.  At first,  a flat 3-percent tax was placed on all incomes over $800 and was later modified to include a graduated tax. Congress repealed the income tax in 1872, but the concept did not disappear.

In 1861, my great-grandfather Robert already had both feet planted firmly in the oyster business of Shoalwater Bay.  He and Isaac Clark had established Oysterville seven years previously and since 1855, the boomtown had been the Pacific County Seat.  I assume they were up-and-coming enough to be visited by the tax collector.  And, at the rate that the oyster schooners were taking their cargoes to San Francisco, I’m thinking that this was lucrative territory for the tax boys.

Which to toss? Which to keep?

Even though that first income tax was for a short time, the idea never went away.  Finally, on July 2, 1909, Congress passed the 16th amendment establishing its right to impose a Federal income tax.  The amendment was  ratified February 3, 1913, and the rest, I say, has been one big headache.  Not that I object to the concept.  I do think we need to pony up our fair share.  But does it have to be this hard to figure out?  And will the “haves” continue to get a free ride for as long as the rest of us live?

I have to admit… chicken blogs were more interesting. But then… almost anything would be.


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