It’s tax time again and it is a fitting reminder that we have worked from January 1 until now to pay off our debt to government… well, some of us. Workers in a few states, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico, have already paid off their taxes. Those in most other states are still working for the government. Workers in Connecticut and New York will continue to work until midway through or the end of next month to start pocketing their earnings.
“Americans will work longer to pay for government (120 days) than they will for food, clothing and housing combined (105 days),” said Tax Foundation President Scott A. Hodge. “Since 1986 taxes have cost more than these basic necessities.”
Federal taxes 79 days
State and local taxes 41 days
Housing and household operation 62 days
Health and medical care 52 days
Food 30 days
Transportation 30 days
Recreation 22 days
Clothing and accessories 13 days
While the government needs money to operate, the forces of democracy have been perverted by career politicians and greedy citizens with an entitlement mentality. As a result, in 2004, the top 10 percent of wage-earners (those who made $87,300 or more) paid 70.8% of all income taxes.
The Wall Street Journal reported that “40% of the country’s households — more than 44 million adults — pay no income taxes at all. Not a penny.” (In a later post, I hope to show how this low-earning, non-taxpaying constituency is actually one of the most powerful and potentially dangerous voting blocs.)
You may think $87K isn’t bad, but 25-year school teachers will make that much in 2007. Repairmen climbing polls fixing phone and power lines will make this much too. These workers are not the “super rich” we all envision and vilify. They are your next-door neighbors, maybe even you.
While some “super rich” people I’ve talked to willingly pay taxes saying they have to pay “their share,” I can name a number of charities that can redistribute my wealth in much more economical ways than the government (I’ll post on government efficiencies later too.).
So spend wisely, save and itemize!