I’m grouchy today. I’m getting my tax stuff ready and it is hard to have positive feelings when you think about how much money gets syphoned off by the government before I get it. The income tax is something we take for granted today. It’s just a fact of life like death and…but back 100 years ago when my grandparents were whippersnappers; there was no income tax at all. Imagine that.
I don’t know what an average individual today pays in income tax. Obama just raised the top rate again so I think that the most anybody pays is about 40% on the margin but the average rate is lower due to the ridiculous amount of complication in the tax codes. Let’s just say for discussion purposes that it is 25%. Since the government takes the money up front you never really miss it. You see the amount on your paystub but it isn’t real. Then at tax time you try to arm-wrestle some small part of it back from the government and feel pleased when you get a refund. The truth is that the only reason you get a refund is that you let the government take too much in the first place. You lent them your money with no interest. It amazes me how clever the government can be at making us feel grateful after our pockets are picked.
My impression is that back in 1913 we had a pretty respectable government. We had services, roads, communications, and defense. There was pretty much everything we needed and it all happened without taking a 25 percent cut of your paycheck. It’s hard to believe.
When they started the income tax it was small-hardly noticeable. But later when the government decided to take the tax before we got the money the floodgates opened and led us where we are today, taxed to death. Somehow you don’t feel robbed when the money never gets in your pocket. These days it is a struggle to assert that the money you earn belongs to you. The government has taken the position that everything is theirs and only grudgingly permits individuals to spend what they have left. It is a decidedly un-American turn of events- a 180 degree retreat from the principles our county was founded upon, the idea that people can decide how to spend money belter than governments. These days the government knows best.
I might feel better if I had some feeling that the government was a good steward of the money it appropriates but it seems that the government is only able to spend like drunken sailors and enough is never enough. They demand more and more. And we get less and less- both of our hard earned money and the services which the government has promised to provide. We have enabled a monster that apparently will not stop until it sucks us all dry.
When there is any attempt to get the government spending under control, it screams bloody murder. I paid no attention to the frantic cries from the insatiable government last week about this impending doom of the sequester spending cuts. The cuts don’t amount to a hill of beans, won’t stop the government from borrowing more money from the Chinese and yet the President tells us that our country id doomed unless we raise more taxes. Then he shuts down the White House tours just to emphasize how dire the situation is. It is a pathetic cry from a spoiled child. We’ve created a monster.
So, as I work up my tax information in a futile attempt to take control of my income, I’m just glad the government leaves me anything. My grandparents didn’t know how good they had it but they were asleep at the switch when they let the government start the income tax. Maybe those Tea Party folks are on the right track.