In the short history of my blog, I talked a bit about reducing your tax burden. This post talks about donating money strategically to itemize deductions and save more money. This spreadsheet shows the benefits of using tax deferred accounts.

This is an important topic, and one that will surely get more attention in the future. There are numerous ways to legally reduce your tax burden, just as long as you know what to do and how to use the laws to your advantage. I believe it is important to reduce your tax burden to the extent that it is legal and fair, but I think most of us would agree that at least some form of taxation is necessary.

I like paved roads and public parks. I wouldn’t feel very safe if my country’s only line of defense against outside attacks was a privately owned and funded militia. I also believe that the government has a responsibility to provide every child in this country with the opportunity to receive a K-12 education (whether he or she decides to take advantage of that opportunity is another question). I like living in a country with executive, legislative, and judicial checks and balances, and I understand all of these things cost money.

I don’t like politicians that spend money without consideration to keeping a balanced budget. I don’t like politicians that dance around questions and avoid giving real answers. I don’t like feeling powerless with regards to how my government spends my tax dollars.

The following is a video of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I strongly encourage you to watch the video with a few questions in mind:

  1. Does he answer the question or does he dance around it?
  2. Is his explanation clear, even to someone without an interest in politics?
  3. Does his solution seem reasonable?

I don’t care whether he has an “R” or a “D” after his name. This is what I want to see in my politicians. This is the type of person that I trust to make America a better place for my theoretical future children than it was for me. If you do some more research on him, you’ll also see that this is a guy who understands a balanced budget.

Whether you love this guy or you hate him, he is an elected official. If you want to see more people like Governor Christie, or if you want to see anyone but people like him, the best way for you to influence that is to vote. We have a very important election coming up in November, which means you only have a few days to register to vote if you haven’t already.

But don’t register if you are going to vote for people just because of their party. (I’m talking about the “political” kind. You can absolutely vote for someone because he knows how to “PARTY!”) Do some research, identify the issues that are important to you, and make a decision. Have your say and make a difference in how much you are taxed and where your tax dollars are spent.

In some states, the deadline to register to vote is as early as October 4th! If you need information about elections in your state, check out Electionland.

Make sure your voice is heard this November!