This year the united States federal government required 13.39% of the money I earned last year. That wiped out the savings account that I had opened earlier this year, which was the first that I have had in three years.
For that amount, I honestly think we should do away with state and local governments (or keep the lower and shrink the higher—the Libertarian’s cry).
Those dollars were planned for use, and while it was accumulating it helped to provide a job at the bank… and was surely being lent to other bank customers so that they could spend the money in our current economy. I fail to see how this tax burden is helping to stimulate the economy.
In fact, to complete the irony of the “taxation stimulates” idea that our politicians love, I have finally chosen to use the $300 stimulus check that was sent out under the order of George W. Bush. In the last few years, I have intentionally chosen not to use it (as the country has not had the money to back this check) and the choice this year was as a protest.
The “Making Work Pay Credit” offers a $400 tax break in some situations. However, comma, this credit is discounted by any “economic recovery payment” that you accept from the Federal government. That means that my tax payment is essentially the same whether I shred the stimulus check or mail it to the government as part of my payment.
Or that’s how I’m reading it. We’ll see if the IRS wants to interpret the law differently. In the mean time, I wish that I could be there when the guys opening the mail see a check from the “U.S. Treasury” that is endorsed over to the “U.S. Treasury.” I just want them to leave me alone.
Here are a few appropriate words from economist Lawrence Reed (taken from an essay entitled “The Love of Power vs. The Power of Love”):
A mature, responsible adult neither seeks undue power over other adults nor wishes to see others subjected to anyoneâs controlling schemes and fantasies: This is the traditional meaning of liberty. Itâs the rationale for limiting the force of government in our lives. In a free society the power of love, not the love of power, governs our behavior.
Consider what we do in our political lives these daysâand an unfortunate erosion of freedom becomes painfully evident. Itâs a commentary on the ascendancy of the love of power over the power of love. We have granted command of over 40 percent of our incomes to federal, state, and local governments, compared to 6 or 7 percent a century ago. And more than a few Americans seem to think that 40 percent still isnât enough. [...]
Millions of Americans think government should impose an endless array of programs and expenses on their fellow citizens, from nationalized health insurance to child daycare to subsidized art and recreation. Weâve already burdened our children and grandchildren, whom we claim to love, with trillions in national debtâall so that the leaders we elected and reelected could spend more than we were willing to pay.
Just in case you think my 13.39% isn’t 40%, remember that I still have to pay taxes to state and local governments. Most states have income taxes. Then there are sales taxes, gasoline taxes (some of which are also Federal), property taxes, filing fees, ad infinitum. We also should not forget business licenses or the costs of inspections, which are government-mandated and therefore must be checked by specialists.
Insurance has also made its way onto the Form 1040 this year, and by 2014 that will become a $695 penalty for people who do not use (or want) it.
Okay, that’s enough rant for today.