Everybody complains about taxes, that they pay too much, that our tax system is too complicated, that something needs to be done. Are we just complainers, or is our gripe legitimate? Have you ever really taken the time to figure out just how much you pay in taxes every day?
When we think about taxes, we generally focus on income tax and sales tax, but most people don’t account for the dozens of other taxes we pay. I recently received my telephone bill and spent a few minutes scrutinizing it. The bill was around $25.00 and over $8.00 represented a tax, franchise fee, or some other charge. Fifteen cents here, twenty cents there, add it all up and the number will astound you.
Consider that we pay taxes on gasoline, rental cars, prepared food (most states), hotels, utility bills, cable bills, self-employment, cigarettes, liquor, not to mention social security, medicare and disability. When you put a pencil to the whole tax structure, a working American likely pays more than 50% of his or her gross income every year.
To be fair, our government does provide security, and a wide variety of other services. We do get a modest return on our investment. However, our deficit just hit the 13 trillion mark, so where does our money go?
Basically, our government has gotten too big; ridiculously big. There is way too much fat at the top. The White House employs a staff of hundreds. Each of the 535 members of Congress has at least a dozen staff members. There are dozens and dozens of agencies and offices and special commissions, doing their thing and sucking the American taxpayer dry.
I don’t support the Tea Party movement; they’re much too radical for me. But it is time for Americans to take a stand and send Washington a clear message. And this message begins in the voting booth. Let’s make the same proclamation Peter Finch made in the movie, Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m just not going to take it anymore.” If we yell loud enough, maybe, just maybe, our government will hear us.