Why you’re always broke: 40% of your money goes to taxes

Between federal, state and local governments in the United States, about 40% of Americans’ income goes to taxes and various statutory fees. And that’s why you’re having so much trouble getting ahead.

Federal income taxes are only a small portion of the taxes we pay. We also pay federal payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, state income taxes, state and local sales taxes, property taxes, death taxes and excise taxes. . . .

The good news is that a growing number of people pay no federal taxes at all. According to a recent Tax Foundation report, 29 million people had no federal income tax liability in 2000, and the number was expected to reach 44 million in 2004. The bad news is that people who do pay taxes much pay more to make up for those who pay nothing.

Writes Daniel Mitchell at the Heritage Foundation, “According to data from the Internal Revenue Service, the top 1 percent of income earners pay nearly 35 percent of the income tax burden; the top 10 percent pay 65 percent; and the top 25 percent pay nearly 83 percent. The bottom 50 percent of income earners, on the other hand, pay barely 4 percent of income taxes.’ — Chicago Sun-Times

And what do the various governments we’re saddled with want with all this money? To get bigger, of course.

The growth of government spending is what makes this tax burden necessary. The federal budget grew 14 percent in President Bush’s first three years, with discretionary spending growing nearly 50 percent. The 2006 Bush budget would increase the Department of Education budget by 40 percent since 2001 and the Department of Commerce budget by 85 percent. Bush’s 2006 budget was supposed to be an “austerity’ budget that finally would rein in spending, but it started with a proposed 3.6 percent increase in federal spending and has taken wing from there. The energy and transportation bills signed by the president are budget busters, and the just-announced spending to “rebuild New Orleans’ is likely to make 2006 another record-breaker.

And that’s just the feds. The states are in on it too.

Meanwhile, state governments have been indulging in their own spending orgy. Between 1990 and 2000, total state spending grew by a staggering $512 billion, or 89 percent. All of that new built-in spending is moving through today’s budgets like a pig through a python, causing state politicians to cry about “budget cuts’ even as they reap record revenue increases due to the reviving national economy.

What’s the solution? Get rid of the bastards and vote in people who actually care about things like reducing the tax burden and cutting pork.

Make taxation a theme and vote the violators out. Quit rewarding those who expand government at whatever level. And quit making excuses for those who cave in when they get in office and vote for pork, taxes and increased spending. No tolerance. Be vigilant and stingy with your money … it is your money after all. That vigilance must be exercised at all levels: local, state and federal.

Republicans have failed miserably (yes, I’m borrowing an appropriate phrase from the Democrats) to curb spending and curb the growth of government. Read the numbers above again. They’re disgusting. . . .

Based on our recent history, though, it seems both imperative and useless to make this plea to those who vote. We seem to have become so dependent on government that we accept the growth with a shrug and a shake of the head. And while many of us say we want less spending, less taxation and less government, we continue to see those who grow all three areas consistently rewarded with keeping their elected jobs election cycle after election cycle.

The vast majority of us certainly don’t treat the money we keep in that manner, but we simply shrug off the 40% which is taken from us by governments and all but ignore how it is wasted. We would never accept broken promises from those we do business with personally, but we all but ignore the broken promises of politicians. And we meekly do their bidding when they ask for more and don’t require of them the accountability we would require of anyone wishing to do business with us in our daily life.

It’s a strange world we live in, in that regard, and as long as politicians and government suffer no penalty for the amount they take in taxes and how they spend the money, they will continue to demand more, spend more and grow government more. — Questions and Observations

The Sun-Times goes on to point out an important fact that most people never hear in school.

Our forefathers fought a war for independence over taxes that were far lower than those we now pay without complaint. It’s time we got up off our sofas and demanded real tax relief.

Damn skippy. The Stamp Act was at most a 3% tax. This 40% is completely intolerable by comparison. But you know what they say about boiling a frog.

Until people actually start to get pissed off about this, nothing’s going to happen.

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