There is an argument going on in Washington, D.C. that affects each and every one of us. I am not talking about Obamacare, although that does affect each and every one of us. And I am not talking about security issues such as the border wall or enhanced checkpoints at airports, although these, too, affect each and every one of us.
I am talking about taxes. Yes, the talk about taxes has begun anew in D.C. Republicans say cut taxes. Democrats say any cut only benefits the rich. Both parties say tax cuts must be paid for. I don’t know how that is an actual tax cut if you have to “pay” for it with other taxes.
Republicans say, cut spending. Well, some of the Republicans say cut spending. Democrats and many Republicans say raise other taxes to pay for income tax cuts. Again, that is a shell game and not a tax cut.
Government at every level simply tells the citizens of their jurisdiction that they must do with less because government refuses to do with less. In fact, government often says it cannot do with less. So they raise your taxes and then expect you to be grateful that they raised them by a small 2% instead of the 5% or 10% they really wanted.
Sometimes government is “nice”. They don’t raise taxes. They raise user fees, licenses, registrations, tags, etc. The reality is, if government is charging it, if government is collecting it, then it’s a tax. Name it whatever you wish but understand its still a tax. And a tax is a tax no matter what name you give it.
Not to mention the hidden taxes everywhere you turn. Fuel taxes. Cell phone taxes. Internet Service Provider taxes. Cable TV taxes. Electric power taxes. You get the point.
And sometimes there is a tax before the tax. Or a tax on top of the tax. It’s usually known as a surcharge. Yea, gas for your car has surcharges. So does the heating oil for your home.
Oh, and let’s not forget the behavior taxes. Tobacco taxes, for example. The government tells us these taxes are to get us to stop using tobacco. So when Americans stop using tobacco, the government says they are losing too much money that they got used to having when they first implemented those taxes.
So what do they do? They raise the tax on tobacco and then propose new taxes. Taxes on sugary sodas. Taxes on sugary and salty snacks. You get the point.
How about your gas tax? You know the massive taxes you pay every time you fill up the gas tank on your motor vehicle. The federal rate is about 18 cents per gallon. By the way, oil companies usually earn less than that rate per gallon as profit. So right off the bat, the federal government earns more off every gallon of gas than the companies that drill, transport, refine, distribute and sell it.
Now don’t forget to add your state taxes to the mix. The combined federal and state rate on a gallon of gas goes from a low of about 26 cents in Alaska to a high of nearly 70 cents in New York. I bet you thought California was the highest. They are a very close second at about 69 cents. The Hawaii comes in at about 68 cents.
That does not include local taxes in some jurisdictions. And that does not include the taxes paid on crude oil. When you add up all the taxes that you pay when you put a gallon of gas in your gas tank, in some states you are paying over $1.00. So if gas in your area is selling for around $2.50 per gallon, understand the oil company is only getting about $1.50 or less.
And if you think you can get around this tax by using a more efficient vehicle or buying or using a vehicle that doesn’t even use gas, you better think again.
There are those in government that are putting out a call to tax you on the total miles you drive because gas tax revenue is falling due to more efficient vehicles on the road. You are pumping less gas. Which means you are keeping too much of your money.
Yet every time someone seriously proposes cutting taxes we all pay, someone else says it’s only a tax cut for the rich. What they are really saying is that they don’t want you to keep more of your own money. So they hide behind the false notion that only the rich will benefit.
Who cares? If the rich earn what they earn, how does it make my life better if government taxes them more? It doesn’t. But since they don’t get a tax cut, then neither do the rest of us poor slobs who more often than not open our wallets to find them empty.
Spread the misery right? How about we spread the prosperity for a change. It’s time for government to do with less money for a change.
Don’t you agree?