Adapted from Taylor Swift’s Tumblr post, “To Apple, Love Taylor.”
I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back taxes in 2015 from the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service. I feel this deserves an explanation because the government has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in defending my natural rights and protecting my freedoms as an American. I respect the Constitution and the truly ingenious minds of our founders that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries that led to this country being a shining example for the world.
I’m sure you are aware that the national government will be offering my money to anyone who signs up for the explosion of government services that encroach on already available and superior services offered in the private sector. I’m not sure you know that the government will not be paying taxpayers, writers, producers, or artists for that labor. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous government.
This is not about me. Thankfully, I have worked my way up the economic ladder and can support myself, my family, and my employees despite paying some of the world’s highest tax rates for some of the world’s worst rates of services rendered. This is about the new graduate or young family that has just released their first baby or small company that made its first product and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought the royalties from that would get her out of debt. This is about the young graduate getting his first paycheck and discovering how much of that money he will never see. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get to keep a third of a year’s worth of their money made from their own labor. This is about the small company who cannot afford a lobbyist or the campaign donations to get lawmakers to tip the scales in its direction.
These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer, and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we fear and respect the central government so much. We simply do not respect its bloat.
I realize a few in the federal government are working towards a goal of spending what it takes in and nothing more. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful the Unites States has been and we know that this incredible country has the money for artists, writers, and producers to earn their own way without interference for the entire year.
Nearly five months is a long time to go unpaid and have government take its cut, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for many things government has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a sustainable model that seems fair to those who create profits. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.
But I say to the U.S. government with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy of spending money you do not have and change the minds of those in industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for taxes. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our money for little to no return.