Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh, the taxes you'll pay

Here is a great article from Steve Forbes reminding me why I voted for him in past presidential primaries. Check out this quote:

If you drive to work, you pay gasoline taxes and maybe a toll or two. You already paid fees on your license and registration, not to mention the sales tax when you bought the car, along with transfer fees and various add-ons devised by your local pols.

Then there's work. Politicians take gargantuan bites out of your pay: federal income taxes, state income taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes and, perhaps, local income taxes.

Anything you buy during the day has also been subjected to taxes. This doesn't mean that you pay all of them directly. When you buy, say, a new sweater, you're paying countless disguised taxes. These include the taxes that companies pay on their profits, along with workers' Social Security taxes, property taxes, utility taxes, corporate excise taxes, among others--all passed along to you in the form of higher prices.

But wait, your day isn't over. You return home--after more of those gas levies and tolls--and you go through the mail. Uh-oh. Your county or township has sent your property taxes. Have a pet? Probably time to renew the license on Fido.
Its amazing to think about...everything we do we end up paying taxes on. Even "tax free" purchases, we end up paying taxes on because the businesses we buy from pay taxes, pay social security for their employees, etc. Its amazing and horrible all at the same time.

Here is a great paragraph from Steve:
The inconvenient truth that politicians and others ignore is that taxes not only are a way for the government to raise revenue but are also a price and a burden. The tax you pay on income is the price you pay for working; the tax you pay on profit is the price you pay for being successful; the tax you pay on capital gains is the price you pay for taking risks that pan out. The principle is simple: If you lower the price and burden on good things, such as success, productive work and risk taking, you'll get more of them; raise the price, you'll get less.

And, finally, he points out the federal tax code is a burden on the citizens of the country.
"Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which defined the character of the nation, is all of 268 words. The Declaration of Independence runs about 1,300 words. The Constitution, which has served us for more than two centuries, comes to some 5,000 words. The Holy Bible has 773,000 words. The federal income tax code and all of its attendant rules and regulations: 9 million words and rising. An appalling fact about the tax code is that no one really knows what's in it."
Brilliant. Thanks Steve for being honest and pointing out what escapes us in our day to day lives.