Federal Income Tax. Social Security Tax. Medicare Tax. Federal Unemployment Tax. State Income Tax. State Unemployment Tax. Local Income Tax. Sales Tax. Gasoline Tax. Hotel and Restaurant Tax. Real Property Tax. Personal Property Tax. Capital Gains Tax. Utility Tax. Telephone taxes, including: federal excise, universal service fee, federal, state and local surcharge, minimum usage surcharge, recurring and non-recurring charges, state and local, and usage charge. Cigarette Tax. Liquor Tax. Luxury Tax. Estate Tax. Gift Tax. Workers Compensation Tax. Corporate Taxes.
Feeling under-taxed? Me either. So many taxes are just hidden in everyday life – it’s either “out of sight, out of mind” or we are numbed by the frequency and numerosity. What if we looked at taxation as an encroachment on our backyards? Say your entire pre-tax earnings represents your backyard. Each tax is a piece of your backyard being taken by a “friendly” neighbor. How much of your backyard would have to go before you have a serious conversation about such squatting, put up a “No Trespassing” sign, or kick your neighbor out?
Not a perfect example, I know. But if we could actually visualize the amount of taxes we pay, how might that change our attitudes toward “minor” tax increases? How small does your backyard have to become before you take “issue” with the encroachment? For decades now, our government officials, on both sides of the aisle, have been extracting more and more of our hard earned dollars. When are we going to say, “enough!”
Personally, I think we are well past that point. What you tax, you discourage. What you subsidize, you encourage. We are taxing, in the extreme, productivity. Many of the hardest working members of our society are worn out and discouraged. Both parents often have to work, a second job has to be secured, overtime must be accepted, etc. And why? Because our government seemingly cannot say “no” to anyone or anything.
It has to stop. I don’t care what the reason – we cannot raise taxes any further. Instead, our leaders need to start making tough decisions (although many of those decisions really aren’t that tough). Just like a spoiled child needs to hear “no” more often, so we need to tell our government “no” as well. After all, our backyards are already too small.