Just wrote the check for $10k to pay for the taxes and the quarterlies, and that hurts. Sure, my wife (The Good Democrat) did a land office business in helping people get on disability, so we reaped the rewards for her hard work. But with the check that was written, I also had to wonder, did our accountant get every tax exemption that we were entitled to?
In fact, can any of us who use anything other than the 1040EZ actually be certain that we paid what we were supposed to, and not more or less? And if we did use an accountant, how sure are you that you won't invite an audit? Apparently, Money magazine sent out a sample tax return and asked several different accountants and tax attorneys and none of them did it right.
The problem is made worse if you are upper middle class because you don't know for sure that you are in full compliance, while the uber-wealthy can simply make the appropriate contribution to Rep. Charley Rangel and know that their problems are taken care of. The tax code ceased to be an instrument for raising revenue, and is now used as a method of social control. Regulating behavior that we don't like, and encouraging behavior that we want. Of course, like everything that the government does, the actual results never match up against the success of the law of unintended consequences.
Just as a quick example of some of the headaches we suffer there is this: