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May 31, 1976

IRS Blues

JAMA. 1976;235(22):2422-2423. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260480042035

Nowadays, the fateful Ides arrive in mid-April, not mid-March, or so Joan Beck would make you believe if you happened to read one of her columns in the Chicago Tribune. She is a convincing writer, as the book Is My Baby All Right?1 will prove to any sensible mother. Yet, on April 9, 1976, Joan Beck's column strayed from matters pediatric to those psychiatric. In that column, by order of her psychiatrist, she displayed her feelings about the income tax. She wrote that she hates the income tax because it

  • Takes money that could be used better for other things.

  • Prescribes bewildering reporting forms.

  • Cheats married couples.

  • Snoops.

  • Lets inflation push taxed persons into a higher tax bracket every year or two.

  • Does not permit naive persons to find loopholes and tax dodges.

  • Is dangerous to health, causing ulcers, insomnia, acid indigestion,