I am absolutely convinced that if you had to physically write a check for your taxes, like many self employed people do, you would vote for lower taxes.
This article on rising levels of sales taxes nationwide: Forbes Rising Sales Taxes
Think about it – it would be the biggest check you write out – if you had to write a quarterly check that is. Not only that, just like most people pay no attention to the cost of medical services (because all they see is the 5-15 dollar copay so there is no reason to bargain), most people don’t really feel their tax burden because it is painlessly (relatively) taken from their paycheck. Government is not stupid in one area (they’re pretty bad in quite a few) – they are smart about how to take your money. When they required that payroll taxes and income taxes be withheld from paychecks they knew that many would not be disciplined about paying taxes when times got tight (just as many don’t pay mortgages now that times are tight – mortgage providers lament the fact that they can not withhold their payments from your paycheck!). The IRS would be chasing millions for non-payment! No they would not do that – withholding works so much better – in fact let’s take extra, use it all year and then refund the extra to you at no interest and make you feel good about getting your own money back – that’s exactly how government would love you to feel about it – HAPPY TO GET YOUR OWN MONEY BACK.
So let’s figure out this hypothetical check you would cut. Let’s assume you make $15,000 per quarter ($60,000 per year). First off, you pay 7.65% in FICA tax (almost sounds like a swear doesn’t it? Just add a “U” on the end. But let’s also count the 7.65% that your employer pays for you – since it could theoretically go to you if not to the government. That makes 15.3% or $9,180. Next, let’s assume that after your exemptions and deductions (mortgage interest, property taxes, FICA deduction, 401k), your adjusted gross income is $45,000. Your federal income taxes on this according to the 2009 schedule would be $7,437.50. if you lived in Massachusetts like I do, your state income tax (flat 5.3%) would be $2,385. If you owned an average one family in Medford, MA, my home town, your property tax would be roughly $3,500 (depends on valuation of course – oh and this is another tax “painlessly” removed from your bank as a part of your mortgage payment).
Furthermore, in regards to the article linked about – supposedly 70% of Americans’ income is spent on consumption. Let’s take 70% of $60,000 = $42,000 – and since Americans just recently started to save money again, the idea that almost 100% of adjusted gross income would go to consumption shouldn’t surprise any of us. If the average sales tax nationwide, according to that article is 8.629%, let’s assume 8.629% of 80% of consumption is taxed (exclude cost of food which in some states, like MA is not taxed but in California where you get especially fleeced, is taxed), so 80% of $42,000 = $33,600 x sales tax of 8.629% = $2,899.34.
So let’s add up this tax burden:
$9,180 + $7,437.50 + $2,385 + $3,500 + $2,899.34 = = $25,401.84
Quarterly would be = $6,350.46
Now, what do you think the average person, earning $60,000/year would do if he had to WRITE that check every quarter? $6,350.46!!! he would vote out the gasbags trying to tell him he needs to bail out Government Sachs, or Government Motors, or the State of California (coming soon to a theater near you!). But since he is numbed like a good anesthetic, through piecemeal siphoning of his paycheck, or through his mortgage payment, or when he goes to the gas station, he never really pays attention.
The last point I will make – if we have been running deficits forever and this year the deficit is ENORMOUS, and we can’t even come close to balancing budgets, what do you think DC would do with more of your tax money? Do you REALLY think we would be balanced? If taking $25,000 from the man making $60,000/year isn’t enough, what is? $50,000??? Likely they will answer “just a little bit more.” They will nick you a thousand times until you have bled out. And soon you won’t be able to do anything about it. According to statistics, something like 40% of the people pay no tax – government has almost built the majority of government-dependent people that will ensure government will grow forever (people who depend on government will vote for more and more government – why not you’re paying! Don’t you do the same when you have hold of the company credit card?).
It is a shame that government would destroy the dignity of individuals by encouraging government dependency. We never hear talk of innovation, human growth, and entrepreneurial development from government people – and why not? How many true entrepreneurs serve in Congress? Are people inspired to make it happen or are people encouraged to depend on more government? The language I hear does not inspire people to “make it happen.” This is something that, being American, saddens me. bringing adult Americans to the point of dependency in such large numbers is something that our country should be most ashamed of considering our unlimited opportunities for education, for lifestyle, for careers/vocations. We have the most opportunity of any country in the world and the failure of many, which I think is a failure of ATTITUDE, not education or economic background (though those things can help greatly), should be what we most focus on fixing. A proper attitude can accomplish great things; and it’s about time that not only children in school but ALSO dispirited adults hear this message.