"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax Day

Federal income taxes.  Social Security taxes.   (Both halves, because I'm essentially self-employed as a partner in a law firm.)  Medicare taxes.   (Both halves again.)  State income taxes.  Out-of-state income taxes (because our partnership has offices in other states).   Estimated tax payments for 2013.

That's just today.   And that doesn't count:

Property taxes.  Fees (for instance, I have to get my driver's license renewed next month.)  Tolls.  Fines (Illinois sends you a bill for a fine if you happen to miss a toll).

And those are only the more visible taxes.   There's also relatively hidden taxes like sales taxes and gasoline taxes.   If you travel there's hotel taxes.

And there's the essentially invisible taxes like the corporate income tax and the massive amount of federal and state regulations that make every product or service you buy more expensive.  

All in, I figure that government at all levels takes about 40% of what I make.   Maybe.   It's hard to tell, frankly, and that's part of the problem.  

Meanwhile, I've never taken any federal or state transfer payment for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, or disability.   And, given the current state of the federal debt, it's likely that the federal government will renege on my Social Security and Medicare so I won't get that either.   My children don't go to public schools.   As a law-abiding citizen I put relatively no burdens on the state.  

At some point, people like me might stop being rubes and start wondering why exactly they should be working to support other people's families for five months a year.

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