How much do you pay in taxes?
Your first thought may be to what you pay in income taxes. But do you even know what that number is? With the concept of “withholding” it is easy to only pay attention to the bottom line of your paycheck but not pay attention to the top line.
So what are some of the taxes that you pay?
1) Federal Income Taxes
2) Local Income Taxes
3) Social Security Taxes
4) Sales Taxes
5) Real Estate Taxes (yearly)
6) Real Estate Transfer Tax (when you buy or sell a property)
7) Room and Meals Taxes
8) Excise Taxes
9) Gas taxes
10) Hunting and Fishing License Taxes
11) Speeding Taxes
12) Inheritance Taxes
13) IRS Penalties
14) Liquor Taxes
15) Capital Gains Taxes
16) Road Tolls
17) Telephone Taxes
18) Workers Compensation Taxes
19) Vehicle Registration Taxes
20) Unemployment Taxes
21) Building Permits
22) Tax Penalties
23) Corporate Taxes
And on and on and on…
If you really want to get sick, sit down and add up all the taxes that you actually pay. It will be different for everyone, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see half of your income (or more) destroyed by all of these taxes.
Also keep in mind that you as an end consumer pay taxes directly, but any tax that businesses are charged are simply passed on to you as well in terms of higher prices of whatever good or service you are purchasing for that business.
For instance, every new gun and ammunition cartridge sold has a 10 or 11% tax built into the price as required by the FAET – Firearms And Ammunition Excise Tax:
A. Tax Rates. The tax rates are 10% of the sale price of pistols and revolvers; 11% of the sale price of firearms other than pistols and revolvers, shells and cartridges. See 26 USC Section 4181(a); 27 CFR Section 53.61(a).
You don’t see this tax directly, but it is there. While the charge is assessed to the business, it really is just added to the final price and paid by you.
But what is a tax? Or a better question would be: “What is a proper tax?”
In the commercial realm you would exchange money in return for a product or service from a seller. This exchange has two critical components.
1) You enter that exchange as a voluntary choice.
2) You have a mutual benefit.
In the government realm, you can (but frequently don’t) also have an exchange of value. Take the example of a government court where you intend to settle a dispute with another party.
1) You enter that exchange as a voluntary choice, ie you can choose to sue another party.
2) You pay for the court fees so the employees of the court are paid and then you receive the use of the court. There is a direct correlation between what you pay and what good or service you receive in return.
Now look at the concept of the income tax, the most insidious tax on the list above.
1) You don’t enter that exchange as a voluntary choice. You either pay it or face physical violence as a reprisal.
2) You don’t receive a direct benefit between what you pay out and then what you receive. If your money is used to pay to bail out a failing company then it is a net loss from you and a net gain to them.
Consider this scenario: What if you were told that you had to go work and then turn over 100% of your earnings or else face physical violence for noncompliance. What would you call that?
In a word we would call that slavery. The ownership of your labor by another party is unconscionable.
The concept of an income tax grants a higher claim to the state on the fruits of your labor than you, the party who actually did the work required to produce your good or service.
Of course there are people who would insist that it would be madness to have a voluntary tax model.
On the contrary, it is absolute madness to have an involuntary one.
“But how would we get roads, and schools, and bridges?!” they would cry!
The answer to that is quite simple. You would pay for them, but without the bloated bureaucracy that comes along with any government project.
In a voluntary taxation system, you pay for what you want. You get the exact amount of government that individuals want.
In a coercive system you get whatever someone else deems you need, or nothing at all in many cases.
And people on the receiving end of your money don’t want you to know that.