Another quick test for you…
Do you know?
Think about it for a couple of seconds…How much do you pay in taxes?
Most folks will think about their tax returns or their W-2 forms.
Not even close. If you are purchasing something, do you want to know the price? If you said “no,” you are kidding yourself. Your tax dollars are purchasing the services provided by the government. So here is the problem: We can’t hold the government accountable because we have no idea what we are paying them, or what we are getting from them.
So back to taxes. Here are a couple things to think about: Have you ever purchased any consumer packaged goods from any company that made any profit during your lifetime? Think Coke, Kellogg’s, Tide detergent. Some like to talk about companies paying “their fair share of taxes.” Here is the problem, those companies don’t pay the taxes, we do. So, do you know how much you paid in taxes for every single US company from which you purchased something? Of course not. And that is a problem.
How about taxes on your gas purchases for you car? Do you know how much of the purchase price of a gallon of gas is a direct tax? According to the American Petroleum Institute the taxes, on average throughout the country, are 48.23 cents per gallon for regular, and 54.38 cents per gallon for diesel. For Californians, those numbers are 63.79 cents and 65 cents respectively. Here in Colorado, those numbers are 40.4 and 44.9 cents respectively. Think that might add up? That about $8.00 to $13.00 every time you fill up a 20 gallon tank!
Now, how about the non direct taxes paid by business? Things like property taxes on triple net leases. Those businesses must earn the money to pay those taxes, and they get that money from the customers they serve. That is you.
I hope you get the idea.
Nobody has any idea how much of their hard earned income is being funneled into government coffers. Nobody. And that includes you and me.
There are so many layers to our tax laws, it is impossible to keep up. Which of course puts every single citizen of this country at risk of breaking the law. Talk about tyranny.
But the biggest problem is that we the people are left with no meaningful way to hold our government accountable. We don’t know what we are paying and we don’t know what we are getting. How can we have any idea if we are getting any value at all?
How can we know if our government is doing a good job?
This has to change. We the people need to do better. We need to expect more. We need to demand more.