Rats! It’s tax time again.

Of course, with all rules and regulations, payments and estimated payouts, advance payments and government-approved extortion payments (the above is the opinion of the author of this column and should not be construed as expressing in any way the views of . . .), it’s still tax time one way or another. Even after your death, it is entirely possible that your estate will be stolen post mortem. Legal? Yes. Wrong? Absolutely (but the previous opinion should not be interpreted… Well, you know).

I know that any government needs money to function. I know no one will ever agree with all the ways their government spends every tax dollar.

Have you heard that a university recently conducted a study and found out how to decode some of the various emotions displayed by the various grunts of various pigs? They could have saved that money (certainly some of it in the form of government grants) and let me use the pigs and/or bacon dollars. Then I could either growl my approval or they could just ask.

Personally, I think our system is ridiculous, ridiculously complicated and even harmful. Too many naive people who only pay taxes through “deductions” (ie garnishing your wages) think that their “tax refund” is a gift from the government. Add to that the class struggles that politicians are exacerbating with the manipulation of fiscal speeches.

I’m no historian, as we’ll soon see, but it seems the income tax (which wasn’t worth much in 1913 when it was enacted) turned into a monster after Prohibition. The income tax increase enabled prohibition because the government could use income tax to more than offset the $11 billion the Eighteenth Amendment had cost them. (If you’re talking about organized crime and a host of other evils, it was indeed costly.)

Personally, I’m such a fossil that I doubt it’s the government’s business how much or how little money each of us makes. Yes, I know how much our system and our social programs rely on this. Believe me, I learn more about Social Security, Medicare, etc.

But we really grew up and nurtured an extraordinary monster. I have one or two suggestions for reform, most of which would be considered impractical or “regressive”.

I am patriot. Many. But liking to pay taxes or wanting to pay more than is legally required does not make a patriot. It’s a daunting task to spend the crazy time I spend preparing my tax files to send them to my tax specialist (and friend). Think of the amount of productivity our entire nation wastes in this effort. Foolish.

I found myself watching a few episodes of Air disasters while doing the mind-numbing part. Plane crashes seem to go well with everything.

Of course, I’m incredibly grateful for our nation.

I have a job and financial blessings and can pay taxes. I’m happy; I’m just gruff right now.

And, yes, I hear of billionaires who pay almost no taxes. Not true. But just as bad, I think, is that the IRS would allow any citizen’s tax records to leak, as happened recently. Not true.

That said, if it’s possible to legally pay less tax than you currently do – I mean, really legal and bypassing any laws – is it commendable to pay more than you’re required to pay? I do not think so. If the laws need to be changed, they must be. Until then, they are what they are, and we all have to face it.

The late Charles Krauthammer (I loved his columns) once wrote, basically, that all you need to know to have a basic understanding of how liberals and conservatives in our country view each other is is to realize this truth: conservatives think liberals are stupid and liberals think conservatives are cruel.

So maybe in this column I managed to be both stupid and cruel at the same time. May be.

I just know that I’d rather sing or write or read — or have a root canal — than report to the government.

But I do know this: Christ clearly expressed his opinion on taxes. Take a look at Matthew 22:21. Caesar gets what Caesar gets. Our true King wants his people to be good citizens of their earthly kingdoms.

Now take a look at a very literally fishy tax story. Matthew 17:27.

I would love to have more than a few of these fish.