Richard Carnes: More excuses for depression in Vail Valley |

Richard Carnes: More excuses for depression in Vail Valley

There are two main types of people under the Happy Valley umbrella this week: those with taxes due tomorrow and those skiing for the last time of the season when the mountain closes this weekend. To one degree or another, they are all depressed.

Neither can be prevented, however; one due to natural causes and the other a lack of snow.

Face it, paying taxes under a democratic government is as natural as passing gas after scarfing an extra spicy bean burrito. It’s a necessary evil, though not nearly as satisfying after the fact.

Here’s a factoid to make you feel a little bit better about tomorrow: According to an article in The New York Times last January, the average honest taxpayer pays anywhere from $1,100 to $2,680 in extra taxes each year to cover the 15-20 percent who cheat (Madoff, Vilar, Stanford, Merriman, your crabby next door neighbor, etc.).

Just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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And now our elected national leaders are convinced that raising taxes on productivity will magically create more productivity, which should remind everyone of Winston Churchill’s famous quote: “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

I think we should move tax day from April 15 to the first Wednesday of November. That way taxes would be fresh on everyone’s mind the day before when we elect or re-elect those responsible for future taxing.

Yet many of us are just as hypocritical as our democratically elected leaders.

We complain loudly about high property appraisals when paying taxes yet rejoice in high property values when selling, and then follow up with even louder complaints when we discover the capital gains taxes due (for continuity’s sake, we’ll just pretend this year never happened).

It is also amazing how many of us claim to be conservatives conveniently right around tax time, although the rest of the year would treat such a claim like a Muslim treats a BLT.

None of this really matters, though, as taxes are due tomorrow either way.

So cheer up, write that check, and then grab your skis and go hit the mountain while you still can.

And don’t forget to smile, knowing that at least you weren’t stupid enough to overpay the government with each paycheck all year long just so you could pretend to receive a “bonus” each spring in the form of an interest-free tax “refund.”

You might as well be giving the government an interest-free loan, but I’m sure we all agree that nobody around here is that boneheaded.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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