Tax Day 2013: RF Cafe's *Fair Share*
After paying federal, state, and local income taxes, sales taxes on all we bought (including gasoline), utility taxes, taxes on savings, property taxes, school taxes, etc., etc., etc., our total 'fair share' works out to 37.6% on adjusted gross income. So, more than a third of our income was paid in taxes.
Just our federal adjusted gross tax alone worked out to 26.6% of adjusted gross. By comparison, according to Whitehouse.gov, "The President's effective  federal [adjusted gross] income tax rate is 18.4%." My total before-tax income was under $100k, by the way, and I do not have a mortgage deduction to claim so personal exemptions for Melanie and me and a small IRA contribution are about it for deductions, so don't get the notion that I made millions and sheltered most of it. Only people like Warren Buffet and companies like General Electric can pull that off. We didn't even contribute to a (deductible) medical spending account this year. RF Cafe does business as a Sole Proprietor, so the business and personal taxes are one and the same.
That means we paid about 50% more in federal income taxes than the president of the country paid. Does that make us 'rich' and axiomatically, him poor compared to us?
Not factored into the total debt to the governments is the time and expense expended in preparing tax returns. Melanie does our taxes using Turbo Tax, and that involves many hours of effort throughout the year.
According to the good folks at CCH, our federal tax code has grown from 400 pages in 1913 to a massive 73,954 pages in 2013 - an 18,388% increase in a century. If lined up end-to-end on standard 8.5" x 11" paper, it would be nearly 13 miles long. Take a look at the chart to the left, which doesn't include state and local tax codes. The tax code will increase much more in 2014 when the socialized medicine programs kick in. Ridiculous, non?
Do I get representation in government in return for paying taxes? Hardly. In fact, I am only demonized by both elected politicians and the overwhelming number of takers in the country whose votes politicians count on. In my nearly 55 years of life, I never recall a single instance of someone on Welfare or receiving food stamps thanking the people who provide for them. Remember the great line often attributed (likely wrongly) to Alexander Fraser Tytler:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."
Rhetorical Question: Are there really people out there who believe they're not personally paying enough in taxes, or is it just that they think everyone else should pay more?
Posted on 4/15/2013
These items are an archive of past Topical Smorgasbord items that have appeared on the RF Cafe homepage. In keeping with the "cafe" genre, these tidbits of information are truly a smorgasbord of topics. They all pertain to topics that are related to the general engineering and science theme of RF Cafe.
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Please send me an e-mail if you have a good subject.