A while back I had a blog and this was one of the entries.
A friend of mine forwarded an email he received - a list of taxes. I looked at that humungous list and realized that long as it was, it was incomplete. So I added those that came to mind. And it began to really tick me off. You don't want to read this if you haven't taken your blood pressure medication today.
There are taxes Everywhere. Just look at some of the ways we talk about them. They are...
Politicians call for "revenue enhancement" (that means reaching into your pocket for more money - you tell me what is being enhanced!)
Conservative politicians talk about tax reduction but since the founding of this republic the long term trend has been nothing but up, up and further up.
I heard a state congress woman in Texas announce on TV that she had a great idea for a new tax: Every time money was electronically transferred from one account to another, even if it was savings to checking, there should be a 'transfer tax', she said. I'm glad she specified "electronically" or I'd be worried about moving money from my left pants pocket to the right.
Here is that list of taxes my friend sent me (along with a few I've added):
Accounts Receivable Tax
Blank Media Tax
Building Permit Tax
Business License Fee
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax Property Tax
Real Estate Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road usage taxes (Truckers)
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise
tax Telephone federal
universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Vehicle License Fees
Vehicle Annual Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
The email with that list went on to say, "Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What the hell happened?"
The next thing to occur to me is how often we are double taxed, or triple taxed. And there are some taxes you have to pay every year even if nothing changes (like property taxes).
You pay taxes on money you earn, then they gouge you for sales tax when you go to spend it, and the business receiving your money will be taxed on whatever portion of it is profit and when they pay some of to a share holder as a dividend that is taxed.
Lots of money is taxed before you get it - like those dividends and then again when you declare them on your income tax forms and then again when you spend the money. What a vicious circle.
Delayed rebates are strange animals as far as taxation goes. Have you ever purchased a big-ticket item with a large mail-in rebate? You probably paid sales taxes on the before-rebate amount and got none of it back with the rebate. That's a tax on nothing!
If you invest some of your money, you'll pay taxes on interest earned, captial gains or dividends.
And apart from pure greed on the part of the state, why should you have to pay taxes on your property every single year? Or your vehicle? How long before the state has collected more in their property taxes than you paid for it to begin with? They keep on collecting for a piece of property they don't own and don't maintain. Let's call this what it is: a protection scam - extortion - pay us or we'll take your property away from you.
There are two forms of taxation that are deeply hidden and bigger than all of the above taxes combined:
That part of the sales price that is the built-in cost of all the taxes paid by the entire supply chain, (you know, a McDonald's Big Mac's hamburger patty carries a cost burden being passed on to you that represents a tiny portion of the taxes and grazing fees paid by the rancher that raised the cattle, gas taxes of the trucker that took the cattle to the feed-lots, employee taxes on all employees of all the supply chain companies, etc.)
Think about it - this is some portion of every tax and every fee paid by every business that received any money at all from McDonalds. And it is the same for every product and every service purchased by every consumer!
And here is the biggest tax of all:
The opportunity costs and failed economic growth caused by the tax burden is beyond calculation. What didn't happen forever stays invisible except in our imaginations, like the person never hired by a business someone never started because they didn't have enough disposable income after paying their taxes.
Think of "opportunity costs" when NASA trumpets how its technology is being used in the private sector and how this is a reason for NASA to consume your tax dollars. People will never see the technology NOT being developed by the private sector because of taxes spent to support NASA (my friend supplied that example).
Think of a person who day after day through an entire life received just enough vitamins and minerals to stay alive but not enough for the energy to do more. Instead of reaching towards the heights of their abilities, they would spend a life just getting by. The same is true of our economy. Our collective energies are drained away and a sizable portion of the brilliance and energy of our best people is being squandered by Washington's wasterels. But you'll never see this - it is invisible.
And it just occurs to me, we should include the cost of inflation as a kind of tax.
So, how much do think we should add to that 40% figure?
(Edited by Steve Wolfer
on 2/21, 11:30am)