Americans pay a lot in taxes.
- Federal Income Tax
- Social Security Tax
- Medicare Tax
- State Income Tax (most states)
- State Sales Tax
- Property Taxes
- Excise Taxes
- Cigarette Taxes
- Alcohol Taxes
- Gasoline Taxes
- Capital Gains Taxes
- Drivers Licenses Fees
- Estate Taxes
This is just a partial list of the taxes we pay. Taxes are the main form a revenue to government to provide services (direct or indirect) back to its citizens. When we begin discussions at either the local, state of federal level on taxes the questions we need to be asking are:
How are these taxes benefiting the American people at large?
Are the taxes being collected enough to cover the programs and services to which the taxes are intended?
Do we have the most efficient administration of the taxes collected to administer the program?
How do these taxes and the programs they serve map back to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men" as articulated in the Declaration of Independence?
It is my opinion that our government collects enough in taxes to guarantee life. liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, on the expenditure side we are not properly managing this money put into the public trust as well as we could.
Today we have the greatest wealth inequality in the history of our country is the responsibility and fault of both of our political parties. The fact that our Federal Government spends more than they take in is the responsibility and fault of both of our political parties.
When Americans can collectively come together and set the expectation as to how our tax dollars should be spent then we begin to define the parameters as to what ""Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" actually means in terms of real fiscal policy.
It is each of your responsibilities as citizens to better understand taxes. I do not expect you to understand tax law. I cannot keep up with tax law and have a CPA handle my taxes (though I manage the big picture and use them to inform me so I can set the strategic direction I want to take). Taxes are complicated and convoluted. But, you need to understand that at the basic foundation taxes are NOTHING MORE than how you manage your personal budget. You have income and you have expenditures. There is no need at the end of the day for you to glaze over when taxes start getting discussed.
All you need to do is hold your elected officials accountable for answering the four questions I pose above. Bookmark this post so you have these questions at hand. Share this with your friends and neighbors.