It occurs to me that if, instead of distributing your tax bill incrementally by direct deductions from your paycheck, additions to your purchases, add-ons to your gas prices, percentage of your mortgage payment, indirectly through increased product prices, on your phone bill, on your electric bill, and so forth, ad nauseum, the politicians just sent you a bill for the full amount at the end of each year, there would be a lot more realization of the total amount being paid, and there would be far fewer people thinking that we need to increase taxes.
In fact, my guess is that the entire nation would flip the fuck right out and we’d have politicians hanging from lamp-posts in DC and the State capitals, with no other change than just showing folks their total tax bill.
I’m middle class. Not upper middle. Just middle. My guess is that my tax bill approaches dangerously near to 50% of my total household income every year, once you add this all up. What if you showed people their total bill every December, and these folks realized that you could buy a brand new, fully loaded, four-door 4x4 full-sized pickup every stinking year for what they’re spending on the government? What would happen? Would they accept that and buy off on the fact that they are getting a new full-sized pickup’s worth of value from the government every year? Or would they be pissed?
I’m pissed, because I sure as fuck am not getting a full-sized pickup’s worth of value out of them. In fact, being involved in a small business, I would guess that I’m getting more negative value out of them than positive in the last several years. The roads that they provide are more or less the only thing that I’ve benefited from, but they’ve been letting them go to shit for the last three years or so. I’ve never sat down to figure out what my share of the roads should be, but in a nation of 300 million people, it sure as fuck isn’t $45,000 dollars.
So here is your homework:
Go try to add it up. You won't get it all perfect. Just take a swipe at it. Grab a pay stub, figure out your bill per week, times 52 weeks. Then add up state sales tax, income tax, property taxes, gas taxes, phone taxes, and so forth. See if you don't pop your top like I do every time I add it up.