CHAPTER 11

The Gift of Preparation

TAX PLANNING

There is an alien in our house. Even though we willingly invited this being into our midst when it was very young, it has become abundantly clear that it does not fully understand the cultural norms of the human realm. For example, when left to its own devices, it will pillage our human food stores even though it subsists on its own specialized alien food. It seeks to re-create the style and substance of our outdoor landscaping by relocating the dirt and mulch of our purposefully designed flower beds onto our sidewalks, and creating new trenches and holes in sections of our yard that were previously flat and covered with grass. And despite our munificent creation of an alien habitat inside of our home, it seeks to live in, and often bring destruction to, our human habitat, furniture, and creature comforts. It’s . . . a dog.

Ultimate Advice

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.

John Marshall, McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819

She is, as much as it pains me to say it, our dog, and unless she hears Jack London’s “call of the wild,” she will be for quite some time because she’s still only a puppy. She was a shelter puppy—an adorable, lovable mix between a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Labrador Retriever (at best guess). An especially strong case can be made for the pointer, because as she grew, she became so tall and ...

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