you read or hear news stories about the total amount of taxes you pay, the number can seem unreasonably
high until you account for payroll (federal, state, local), standard point-of-sale (state, local),
special PoS (cigarette, gas, appliance disposal), utilities (electric, phone, heating fuel, water), and
multitudinous other hidden taxes. Per CNN today: "Your wireless carrier isn't the only one pocketing
money when you pay your cell phone bill. Local, state and federal governments, 911 systems and even
school districts tack on taxes and surcharges to your wireless bill that end up costing American cell
phone customers an extra 17.2%, on average, according to the Tax Foundation. That's up from 16.3%
fifteen months ago."
My home state of Pennsylvania reportedly has a tax rate of 20%. I only
use a prepaid TracFone that costs about $64 (including sales tax) and give 1,000 minutes. After three
years of use and refilling the card (twice), there are still more than 2,500 minutes left - that's how
little I use a cellphone. It is only turned on during long road trips. If it weren't for being able to
track my credit card purchases and Internet usage, the Fed would know very little about my personal
habits. Well, I suppose they can get my 2011 Jeep Patriot computer record, too.