Click Here to read the Wall Street Journal article about a defendant at a criminal sentencing hearing.

"The trial judge immediately found the defendant guilty of contempt for “uttering a profanity at me in my presence, in my sight, and in a calculated way.” He handed down a one-year prison sentence for contempt,  on top of the other sentences he had imposed for the defendant’s underlying criminal offenses."

Billy Hamilton channels Ambrose Bierce, who gave us The Devil’s Dictionary and such classics definitions as:

Conceit, n.  Self-respect in one whom we dislike.

Hand, n.  A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

Tarif, n.  A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.

Tax Analysts published Hamilton’s The Devil’s Dictionary of Taxation, 50 State Tax Notes 118 (Oct. 13, 2008). Billy Hamilton was deputy comptroller at the Texas Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts from 1990 until he retired in November 2006.  He is now a policy consultant.

Here are a couple of examples of the Devil’s definitions of tax terms:

Capital Gains Tax: 1. A tax on the few good uses to which you have put your money since you outgrew baseball cards. 2. Circa 2008: An obsolete concept.

Charitable Deduction: Among faith, hope, and charity, the only one of the three theological virtues that can also help you avoid rendering unto Caesar.

Blogging credit to Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog.

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the
family business. When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when
his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share
his fortune.

One evening at an investment club meeting he spotted the most beautiful
woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may
look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years,
my father will die, and I’ll inherit 20 million dollars."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later, she
became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.


Blogging credit to Greg Herman-Giddens at North Carolina Estate Planning Blog.