This just in from libertarian scribe John Stossel: Hidden Taxes. Excerpt:
Yesterday was “Tax Day.” It was April 17 this year because April 15 fell on Sunday and Monday was Emancipation Day. But by calling April 17 “Tax Day,” the media miss the big picture. Income taxes make up less than half the tax most of us pay.
We also must pay payroll tax, corporate tax, gift tax, gambling tax, federal unemployment tax, gas tax, cable and telecom taxes, plane ticket tax, FCC subscriber line charges, car documentation fees, liquor and cigarette taxes, etc.
People can’t keep track. For my latest YouTube video, Tate asked people, “What’s your tax rate?” Tourists in Times Square said that they thought they paid about 20 percent. But they left off the hotel taxes, airline taxes, etc., that push Americans’ total tax load to almost 50 percent.
And yet, with all these taxes, the Imperial government is still 20 trillion dollars in debt.
There are two sides to this problem.
- Most people have no idea how much they are actually taxed, at all levels. Here in the Casa de Animal we probably have a better idea than most, as we have been small business owners for years and have to make quarterly payments. But payroll withholding has effectively ‘hidden’ direct taxes, and most folks aren’t bothered to add up all the various taxes and fees that suck away income.
- The scope of government is out of control. No matter how much of our resources the government confiscates under threat of force (try not paying your Imperial taxes and see how long it takes them to send men with guns out after you) the governments spend more, and more, and more. The answer is obvious and I’ve said it many times here: Fuck you, cut spending.
There’s an answer to all this, at least at the Imperial level: The balanced budget amendment and the FairTax. But the odds of the Imperial Congress voting to strip themselves of that much power is so small as to be immeasurable; you’d have better odds counting neutrinos.