A Taxing Situation


The Federal Subscriber Line Charge, Federal Universal Service Fee, Federal Excise Tax, State Tax, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, and the FCC Regulatory Fee, a taxing situation indeed and these fees are just the ones on my telephone and cable bills.

As taxpayers, we tend to focus on tax as the income tax, but there is a great deal more to it with hidden fees and taxes everywhere you turn.  It may be an old cliché, but there really is no free lunch.  On top of all the hidden fees and taxes to the federal and state governments, there are the more obvious taxes such various payroll taxes, and of course in most places a sales tax, in some cases both state and local. In addition, there are taxes to dispose of old tires, property taxes, taxes on hotel rooms and car rentals and who knows what else.  In New York City, you get to pay a local, state and federal income tax.

What we hear today is that some people pay too little in taxes and talk of new taxes to fund (fill in the blank).  Some people in Congress want to add a VAT, a value added tax, which is a tax on a product, each step along the way of production.  In Europe, that tax is about 17% in total.  Never fear that would be a tax to help pay for health care and will ultimately save us all money, but take heart the VAT is unlikely. Rather employers may be taxed if they don’t offer health benefits or taxed if they offer health benefits that are deemed to be too generous or employees may be taxed on the value of their health benefits to help pay for the people who have no health benefits to be taxed on in the first place.

Glad to help, but my health care is free, right?
Glad to help, but my health care is free, right?

Somebody has put together a list of taxes Americans pay.  I cannot vouch for its accuracy or completeness but it is a place to start.  Taxes Americans Pay.  Add it all up and you have a hefty percentage of income going to, going to, going to…run government so that some people can say with an honest face, I got it free from the government.

Maybe, just maybe it is time to look at the opposite side of the equation and roll back our spending, but then again our demands for services, “free” stuff would have to decline, and that is no fun.

Let’s face it some taxes are necessary, many taxes are necessary but those that are should be spent wisely and in the best interest of all who pay those taxes.  The recent slipping into legislation of a new plane for Congress is a prime example and of course, it is only a coincidence that the plane is built in the Congressman’s home district.  Take that example and multiply it hundreds perhaps thousands of time a year and you see the problem.

Somebody famous once said (I believe Margaret Thatcher, but cannot confirm), the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of people to pay for it.  Let’s hope we don’t run out of pay before we get to that point.

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