Shouldn’t we be getting tax credits?

I’ve gotten credits from Comcast when my cable service has gone out!

Let’s set the stage:

On a macro level ….

1/4th of the Federal government’s “non-essential employees” have been furloughed for about 3 weeks.

Technical note: In this case, “furlough” means “paid vacation”, albeit with deferred pay for the remainder of the time off.

1/4th of the government’s “essential employees” have been reporting to work … and, had been getting paid until last Friday.  Now, their pay is deferred until the end of the shutdown.


On a micro level, I loaded Turbo Tax over the weekend and did a first-cut at my 2018 taxes.

The combo of the macro and micro raised a logical question…


If 1/4th of the government is closed – i.e. not providing the services that I’m paying for (through my taxes) – shouldn’t I (we) be getting tax credits?

Personal note: Every couple of years, I’ve “lost” my cable and internet services for a day or two.  After the fact, I always call and complain … and ask for a credit.  Usually, there’s the “act of God” brush-off, but when I keep up my whining, I always get something — usually a free movie or two.  Precedent set!

Let’s run through the arithmetic.

For simplicity, let’s assume that the “shutdown” lasts 1 month.

That means that means that we’re each losing about 2% of the government services that we’re paying for, right?  (1/12 x 1/4 = 1/48 = 2%).

Ah, but about 1/2 of the pay-deferred government employees are still reporting to work.

So, cut the implied credit in half to 1%.

Bottom line: we the taxpayers are entitled to a tax credit of 1% (of our annual taxes) for each month that the shutdown continues (assuming that half of the impacted employees continue doing their jobs).

Think that will happen?

I’m betting the under on that one.


P.S. The half of the country that doesn’t pay income taxes wouldn’t get any credit since – during the shutdown – they’re getting exactly what they pay for….

That’s called poetic justice.


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2 Responses to “Shouldn’t we be getting tax credits?”

  1. Jack Clark Says:

    “…half of the country does not pay income taxes…”

    At least two thoughts;
    – Federal employees are paid by federal dollars; given so are these “taxes” a net add to the Treasury?
    – the half not financially invested in the country
    may represent the Democrat base.


    Shutdowns are just another way to screw the taxpayers. We get no service and we never get the lost service back – but eventually the non working employees get paid. In some states the “furloughed non-essential” workers even get unemployment. If a private sector employee is furloughed they never get those wages back. Essential employees who are working shouldn’t have to wait for a paycheck. It’s Congress who shouldn’t get paid during a shutdown.

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