Friday, April 03, 2009


Bobby Brown is my friend, VTM board member, insurance man, a layman, and the leader of a business men's bible study on Wednesday mornings in Wichita falls Texas that averages 30 to 40 men in attendance. His wife, Margie, does the same for women at the same meeting hour but a different place of meeting. Mary and I are privileged to go the 150 or so miles from Norman Oklahoma, where we live, to WFT on occasion to teach those folks as we did a couple of weeks ago.

One of those men is Ed Barnett. Ed is a friend and a retired newspaper man, among other successful business adventures, who recently wrote a letter to his home town paper which was picked up by the Dallas newspaper and, eventually, led to Ed being interviewed on Fox and Friends and the Glen Beck show on Fox. [Ed was contacted by CBS but when they found out he was going to be on Fox they declined to follow up.] Ed was using humor to bring out a point but it struck a cord with a lot of people which is to state the obvious.

I'm name dropping here because I want everyone to know I know Ed. He's my friend. :) You will enjoy his letter which is printed below.

By the way, don't forget that April 15th is tax day. [Are you as dubious as I am after paying taxes for so long that SO MANY politicians could make unintentionial tax paying mistakes?]

Here's what Ed wrote...........

Dear IRS,

I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to pay my estimated taxes owed April 15, but all is not lost.

I have paid these taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog license tax, federal income tax, unemployment tax, gasoline tax, hunting license tax, fishing license tax, waterfowl stamp tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, liquor tax, luxury tax, Medicare tax, city, school and county property tax (up
33 percent last 4 years), real estate tax, social security tax, road usage tax, toll road tax, state and city sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, state franchise tax, state unemployment tax, telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal state and local surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone state and local tax, utility tax, vehicle license registration tax, capitol gains tax, lease severance tax, oil and gas assessment tax, Colorado property tax, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico sales tax, and many more that I can't recall but I have run out of space and money.

When you do not receive my check April 15, just know that it is an "honest mistake." Please treat me the same way you treated Congressmen Charles Rangle, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and ex-Congressman Tom Dashelle and, of course, your boss Timothy Geithner. No penalties and no interest.


Ed Barnett
Wichita Falls

P.S. I will make at least a partial payment as soon as I get my stimulus check.


Bob Cleveland said...


Now, THAT'S funny! And, as I filed my taxes last evening, electronically, it's very timely , too.

I have also been in politics .. at the local level .. hence I know politics is a dirty business. So you inadvertently named the reason for all the seeming dichotomy involved here ... your friend is way to good to (A) be in politics, or (B) not pay his taxes, or (C) get a pass on anything, much less penalties and interest. Or delaying payment until caught.

Chris Ryan said...

That is great.

The world needs more people with that sense of satire.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob, Chris,

Ed has a wonderful sense of humor. He is totally shocked with the airtime his letter has had.

On top of that, he is a politically astute guy with some real concerns with where our country is headed.

Kate Johnson said...

Gotta love it! Actually, we inadvertently paid our last quarter of 2007 taxes late, and then got a bill from the IRS that was as much as the tax we owed. The bill, of course, was for late fees and penalties. I wrote the IRS and explained why we were late (due to a letter they sent changing our filing status) and asked for the penalties and late fee be removed because it was "an honest mistake." I really wanted to put in there that if was not possible, could they have Geitner intervene :). But they wrote back and said they would forgive the debt "this one time" because of our "good record." So why do politicians get more than one chance to make an "honest mistake"?

Paul Burleson said...


Good comment and anecdote. It's good to know the IRS was open to your first mistake. [It looks like they realized they were as much at fault as were you.]

I DO think some pressure came to bear on the IRS the past few years to be a litle more "user friendly." But what's happening in favor of the politicians is ridiculous.

Lin said...

Boy do I agree with his last paragraph. I agree with all of it but that last one was dead on.

We expect less from our public servants than we do the ordinary citizen?