Skip to comments.Paying high taxes and loving it
Posted on 04/13/2004 11:40:12 AM PDT by Mike Bates
Mark Twain famously said that everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. The same could be said for taxes in the United States.
Sometimes theres a little tinkering around the edges. This year, for example, Tax Freedom Day fell on April 11th. Established by the Tax Foundation as a barometer measuring the overall tax burden, Tax Freedom Day is the date Americans have earned enough to pay all their taxes for all levels of government for the year.
This years indicator is three days earlier than it was last year and three weeks earlier than it was in 2000. Some of the blame for this years earlier date must be placed on those appalling Bush tax cuts, but dont fret. Senator Kerry has promised to fix that if hes elected.
Its difficult at times to believe that opposition to taxes was a principal reason for American discontent with England during our colonial experience. The Stamp Act and the Townshend Act, which raised taxes on a variety of items, including a three-pence per pound tax on tea, fanned the flames of rebellion.
How times have changed. Americans grumble about taxes, but rarely do anything more than that. I think this represents a colossal conservative failure.
For years we on the Right have told anyone whod listen that Americans are overtaxed. Weve erroneously thought that if only our fellow citizens knew the facts, theyd do something, maybe even elect to office people who arent devoted to increasing taxes. We were extraordinarily mistaken.
Here in Illinois taxes on a gallon of gas are almost 50 cents and its even more in Crook County or the Peoples Republic of Chicago. The Federal government spends about $4 million a minute. The average American family pays more in taxes than it spends for food, shelter and clothing combined. Federal taxes for the typical American household have doubled in just the last 20 years.
And what has been the general reaction to all this? Nothing.
Ive been thinking about why that is and have a few possible reasons. One is that collecting taxes is often deceptive. Withholding them is a wonderful way of obscuring how much a person really pays. Check after check, money is taken out without employees ever seeing it except as a deduction on their pay statements.
Imagine if, instead of that, people had to write a check to IRS every April for thousands of dollars. Their tax burden would be more painfully obvious.
Then there are the hidden taxes. Corporate taxes, which are only another cost of doing business and inexorably passed on to the consumer, utility taxes, import taxes and travel taxes are examples. Yet when we pay our cable TV bill, we tend to notice only the total and not the taxes included in it.
Maybe another reason were so complacent is because were told that our taxes are low in comparison to many other countries. Thats true, and usually is because of cradle to grave benefits, especially "free" health care thats provided in those nations. If you think thats a peachy scheme, I recommend you check out Austin Powers teeth.
In harmony with the Founders vision, weve been slower to intentionally entrust responsibilities to government. The operative word here is intentionally. If we took out the Constitution, set next to it the latest Federal budget, and deleted from the budget anything not explicitly provided for by the Constitution, we could whittle the budget down from thousands of pages to a few dozen, maybe fewer.
Admittedly, it would be tough on aficionados of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and other laudable government spending ventures, but theyd eventually get over it.
Yet another potential reason for the lack of taxpayer resistance is the sheer number of people getting checks from the government at one level or another. Government employees and retirees, Social Security beneficiaries, welfare recipients, corporations, farmers receiving subsidies, people involved with the many different projects funded by government, the list goes on. Many of these folks arent likely to see high taxes as a problem.
Whatever the reason, we conservatives have been unsuccessful. Weve not persuaded enough other citizens that taxes are too high and the return on them not very good. Most Americans apparently dont see it that way.
So, again on this April 15th, well pay our taxes with a smile. And, at least in some cases, a very soft whimper.
Sorry. I wish I only owed those guys $500 this year.
Difficult to believe. I could accept it for any single one alone, but not all three combined.
If you would like to be added to this ping list let me know.
John Linder in the House & Saxby Chambliss Senate, offer a comprehensive bill to kill all income and payroll taxes outright, and provide a IRS free replacement in the form of a pure consumption tax:
A bill to promote freedom, fairness, and economic opportunity by repealing the income tax and other taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and enacting a national retail sales tax to be administered primarily by the States.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.