Day for this year is April 18 - five days later than last year. Today, April
15, is the day in America by which half the population gets to pay its *fair share*
to the government in the form of income taxes (the other half pays no income taxes).
Oh, excuse me, it is when we are "asked" to pay our fair share. Don't you love the
"asked" term ...as if we have the option of refusing without going to jail? Six
envelopes are pictured here (e-filing not shown) that contain various tax mailings
for Melanie and me: one each to the IRS for income tax and Q1 estimated income tax,
state income tax and Q1 estimated income tax, local income tax and estimated income
tax, plus a local services tax. The local services tax is just for the 'privilege'
of working - I kid you not.
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
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
Posted April 15, 2013