Taxes to Death

I care about the money taken out of my paycheck each week.  I have wondered in the past why the government deserves such a large percentage of my paycheck when I was the one who worked the hours to earn it.  I was the one that woke up early and spent more of my life with my co-workers than I did with my family and for my efforts I was "allowed" to give the government (federal, state and local) about 50% of my efforts.  It is sometimes easy to just look at my paycheck and feel rich.  That is until I look at my paycheck and realize that I could be richer without all of these taxes.

What do those taxes go towards.  There are the obvious taxes for Social Security (not yours, but some retired person), Federal Tax (to fund our government), State Tax (same as the federal) and Local (ditto).  Throw in the Unemployment insurance along with all of the pre-tax and post-tax deductions and guess what, you make a whole lot less than you thought you did.  If you think you earn $50,000 per year, you are actually only taking home around $25,000.  Quite a shock I know.  Win the lottery and you will find yourself with considerably less than the winning total.  You bought the ticket with your take home pay (after all taxes) and suddenly you win, and the government gets 50% of those winnings.  Great system we live under.

Our government pundits will tell you that we should be happy to only pay 50% of our income because there are other countries where this number is close to 90% of a person's income.  Talk about demotivating.  In our own country during the Great Depression there was a brief period under the FDR administration where citizens were taxed at 100% above $10,000.  That meant that if you earned $20,000 in 1935 you took $10,000 right off the top to the government and then still got to pay taxes on the remaining $10,000.  WOW.  Is it any wonder that the Great Depression dragged on for much longer than it should have.  We had politicians telling their workforce to make and produce less or else you would lose it.  Thanks government.

The same government pundits will tell you that you have a moral obligation to give your money to others.  I am a big believer in providing for our fellow man.  As I wrote in a previous post, we have an obligation to take care of those around us if we have the means.  The problem comes when government determines who gets help and who doesn't.  It is my money, shouldn't I decide who to help or not help based upon my beliefs.  Forced charity is not morally correct, it is simply stealing from those who have and creating a dependent class of people looking to government to solve their problems.

Government is simply a group of individuals who have been elected to determine the direction of the country (state or local included).  If the government levels were three companies merging, there would be quite a bit of overlap.  We have federal courts, state courts and local magistrates.  Why do we need so many levels.  We have local police, state police and federal law enforcement.  Again, why so much.  Every time another level of management (or elected politician) is added, we suddenly have more costs and nothing more to show for it.

I need laws to be enacted and laws to be enforced.  I don't need a new law everyday (or in many cases many more than that).  Politician should not be a career choice.  It should be like serving on a committee at work.  Very part-time and not highly compensated.  Serve your time and move on.  Apparently our politicians didn't get this memo.

Using red-tape to further subsidize the government is also wasteful.  A state license should only be required if the licensing organization will actually stand behind this license.  Make it hard to get and require continuing education to maintain.  Should an insurance agent be licensed? Trained yes, licensed not really.  The licensing doesn't protect you from shysters, and it doesn't prevent anything.  Every professional should be trained, and records of that training maintained.  In the case of the insurance agent, I have never bought insurance from any individual who was actually providing the insurance.  They were selling someone else's product.  The Allstate agent works for Allstate.  They aren't personally guaranteeing to rebuild your house if it burns down, Allstate is.  Why the license.  Money for the state.

It goes without saying that the more red-tape added to any situation in your life costs the businesses you frequent to raise their prices.  If the price of gasoline goes up, you are hurt when you fill up your car.  Imagine if you are driving an 18-wheeler.  That extra costs are passed on to the grocery store who in turn passes it on to you.  Suddenly that bag of potato chips that used to cost $1.99 now cost $3.99.  You didn't get more, you just paid more.  Thanks government.

The end result of all this is to push any and all politicians to justify any new taxes as well as justifying the existing taxes you pay.  This can be on gasoline, milk or FICA.  Everything if free game and should be questioned.  Just because it has been on the book for decades doesn't mean it still should be.  Should we still have a telecommunications tax that dates to 1898 (the Spanish-American War).  I think not.  If we haven't paid for that brief war by now it would seem we never will.