noted in The
Role of Government, our over-sized government is funded by
our over-sized tax bill. We are overtaxed. For every
dollar we earn, we pay about 43 cents
of it in taxes, but this statistic is somewhat misleading, as it
understates the true extent of taxation. When we earn a
dollar, 57 cents of it is paid to us, and 43 cents of it goes to the
The overhead of a huge government is astounding, and it
creates a vicious feeding frenzy. When we raise taxes for a
supposedly good cause, a surprising amount of the tax proceeds go to
the overhead. The government collects our taxes, subtracts their
expenses, and dispenses what's left. It first pays the staggering payroll
costs as seen above, benefits, infrastructure such as buildings, rent, and
utilities, interest, supplies, etc., then it hopes to have something
left after this automatic net loss. Some estimates claim that as much
as 83% goes to overhead, leaving only 17% for the purpose for which the
Some people complain about a do-nothing Congress, but keeping with
Thomas Jefferson's theme of a small, frugal government, maybe such a
Congress is not a bad thing at all. A do-nothing Congress is better
than one that is constantly imposing new and bigger taxes upon us.
The government literally searches for new ways to tax
us. Lawmakers tax everything they can in order to fund pork
barrel and totally unrelated projects in their district that will gain them
votes in the next election. Now politicians
are anxiously thinking of ways to tax the Internet, and we should not
let them do it.
Don't be deceived by politicians who display charts showing how taxes
are higher in certain other countries. The citizens in those countries receive many more services
for their taxes, and those services are more equitably
distributed, such as health care (although socialized medicine
is not a good idea). However, and more importantly, just
because taxes might be higher elsewhere, doesn't mean that ours aren't
too high. They're all too high, and those countries with higher taxes
are doing an even worse job than we are in confining the role of
government to its biblical place and size.
Also, beware of politicians who talk about "paying for tax cuts,"
because they are putting the cart before the horse. This is a
misnomer, and an idea that they can get away with because we have
become so numbed by high taxes. The idea is that if taxes are
cut, then reasonable cuts may need to be made in inflated entitlement
programs. This is backwards. The way the system should work is
that the government should decide upon a budget, then collect the taxes
required to fund that budget. However, many politicians seem
to think that they have this endless supply of tax money to fund anything
that crosses their minds. Hence
comes the idea of tax cuts "causing" a cut in entitlements. It's
as though they are focused on collecting high taxes instead of the merits
of the programs. Tax cuts aren't "paid for", but entitlements
We are taxed for virtually everything. We pay our money,
time, and trouble for nearly everything we do. We have
multiple layers of governments (federal, state, county, city, school, etc.) collecting
taxes, fees, licenses, and permits for individuals and business at
- If we earn
money, we pay (very high) income taxes,
social security taxes, and Medicare taxes. In fact,
we pay income taxes on the
social security and medical taxes that we pay (a tax on a tax).
- If we buy
something, we pay sales tax to the state and city.
- If what we bought is an automobile,
we also pay the state and county for a title, and the state for a license
and safety inspection (even if the car is new).
- If we drive
that car, we pay the
state for a driver's license.
- If we drive on certain roads,
we pay a toll tax.
- If we drive to public property at
a state park,
we pay a usage fee to the state.
- If we buy gasoline
for that car, we pay up to 100% tax to the state for it.
- If what we bought is a house,
we pay (very high) property taxes to the state, county,
city, school, mud district, and hospital district.
- If what we bought is an animal,
we pay the city for a permit, only after we pay a vet for the shots
that the city requires.
- If what we bought was material to build a storage building,
we pay the city for a permit.
- If we sell
something, we pay for a tax permit and collect taxes for each sale.
- If we run a
business, we have to
inflate the amount we charge our customers, due to OSHA and
other government regulations.
- If we make a phone
call, we pay federal, state, county, and city taxes.
The worst inequity in this is that we frequently pay tax on the tax we
pay. We should never be taxed twice on the same income. All
government fees and taxes should be deductible on our federal income
tax. We shouldn't pay income tax on money we pay for Social Security tax or any
state or local tax or fees.
Now, it may be OK to have a graduated income tax, but if some pay, then
all should pay. We all see commercials on TV about lawyers who
negotiate with the IRS on behalf of people who didn't pay their taxes,
and those people get away with paying a small percentage of what they
owe. Also, those who don't make enough money to pay income
should not receive subsidy checks.
Owen Weber 2009