Tom Purcell, 4/11/2016 [Archive]

Why I Snapped at a Bernie Supporter

By Tom Purcell

I'm crabby this time of year — absolutely miserable, if you want to know the truth.

My taxes are due.

Every year at this time, I worry that I'll owe more than I think I will, and I will. No matter what I do, I generally owe our government $5,000 more than I thought I would.

This is because stupid, corrupt people (members of Congress) designed the unfathomable (our complex tax code) so that powerful special interests (campaign donors) receive tax breaks while a powerful bureaucracy (the IRS) can demand the unimaginable (the amount I owe) from otherwise productive citizens (the self-employed) all in the name of good fun.

I snapped at a Bernie Sanders supporter the other day. The skinny, frumpy 20-something held up a sign that said, "Honk if you support Bernie."

You have to understand I have zero empathy for young, able-bodied people who want the government to give them "free" things — things paid for by self-employed people like me.

Sure, I chose my path. But I have no social safety net — I get no unemployment if my clients stop hiring me.

So I work hard. I'm sometimes up all night working to keep up with deadlines that sometimes hit all at once.

This is because I must keep my clients happy if I want to keep receiving the revenue that I need to light my house when it is dark and feed myself when I am hungry.

If I get hurt and cannot work, I get no disability insurance. I canceled it because the high costs were killing me.

I pay for my own health insurance, too, which, thanks to ObamaCare, nearly doubled during the past three years.

I loved that policy, but it became too expensive to keep. I switched to a high-deductible policy that costs $305 a month — but I must pay the first $6,000 in costs before any co-pays kick in.

If something happens to me — say I have a heart attack while snapping at a Bernie supporter — I will receive a massive health care bill that will prompt an immediate second heart attack.

So when I saw the young man in the street encouraging drivers to honk in support of Bernie's policies — more free stuff for some, more taxes for all! — I got a little sore.

First off, how did the kid have free time in the middle of a workday to hold up a "honk for Bernie" sign? Even in our sluggish economy there is work for the willing — albeit no "glamour" jobs for those who majored in the Social Structure of Sub-Saharan Cross Dressers.

The kid said he was for Bernie because "the rich" must "contribute" their fair share.

First of all, "contribute" is what individuals do when, say, they are at church and put their hard-earned money in the second collection basket because it will help the needy.

"Confiscation" is when a lazy Bernie supporter demands that the government transfer money from someone who earned it so that he can be relieved of the 150 grand he borrowed to major in the Social Structure of Sub-Saharan Cross Dressers.

Second of all, the kid has no idea that "the rich" alone can't possibly cover Bernie's $15.3 trillion tax hike. According to estimates, his confiscatory policies would extend well beyond the truly wealthy and cost the average taxpayer $9,000 more per year — an unfathomable sum in addition to the unfathomable sum I already must pay.

If you're a Bernie supporter and see me walking down the street, I advise you to put down your sign and shut your yap about all the free stuff you think you're entitled to.

I'm in no mood this time of the year.


© 2016 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Sean McClanahan Mysteries," available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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