Yes, you are paying a lot in taxes . . .

14 04 2008

My capital city newspaper editor’s opinion here:

According to the Tax Foundation’s analysis, Floridians’ overall tax burden is the 12th-highest among all the states, with 33.7 percent of our annual average income going to taxes last year.

No wonder Floridians are willing to cut education for our children, health care for poor pregnant women, basic health care to others, the arts, raises for hard-working state employees and just about anything else. . .We can cut all the mosquito-control programs we want from the local budget and it won’t really put a dent in our tax burden. You want to keep more of your money? Do something about federal spending.

But what about spreading the burden more fairly, so that those with all the money who haven’t been paying taxes at all, start ponying up with the rest of us?

I’m all for that, but I’m not talking about taxing “rich” individuals or Big Business. At least they arguably are required to pay something here in the same boat with me! No, as a Thinking Parent, I was thinking that between tax-favored schools and churches, there’s a helluva lot of untaxed income left free to effectively commandeer what’s left of MY income, and to control my life and community politically and economically. . .

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6 responses

15 04 2008
Crimson Wife

Only non-profit organizations are eligible to be exempt from paying taxes, so I’m not quite following your argument.

Things that make me angry about taxes:
-the marriage penalty. Why should the very first dollar I earn be taxed at my DH’s highest marginal rate? This is totally discriminatory against working women, and I’ve always been angry that it’s not seen as a feminist issue.
-fat cat venture capitalists and private equity dealmakers who pay the much-lower capital gains tax rather than ordinary income tax.
-ditto for trust fund babies.
-workers in the underground economy who get paid cash & escape taxation.
-the fact that artificial contraceptives are considered medical expenses by the IRS for flex spending accounts and the test sticks for my Natural Family Planning monitor aren’t. Why shouldn’t women who choose NFP for family spacing get the same tax benefits as women who choose the Pill or condoms?
-the relatively low cutoffs for deducting student loan interest even for recent graduates. There should be a higher cutoff for the first few years of repaying the loan.

There are probably more, but those are the ones that come to mind…

15 04 2008
JJ

Well, it isn’t an argument (yet) but it might be a pretty big one soon. I’m not bad at policy forecasting.

I see your list and could raise you with my own (books should be tax-free, even the disgusting ones, instead of preachers.) Every taxpaying citizen has such a list and maybe making them as we pay is cathartic? 🙂

But your first sentence contradicts the whole idea of tax policy being a practical, tolerable balance the citizenry as a whole is willing to support and endure, even grumbling and grudgingly.

There’s nothing moral (or immutable) about anyone’s tax status. The IRS giveth and the IRS taketh away, and neither religion nor education gets any more deference from government tax policy than the economic traffic will bear. That includes “non-profit” tax-exemption and all those who profit (benefit) from claiming it in mega-fashion, perhaps now approaching the point that enough taxpayers object to it as not really “profitable” for our society and government generally.

Tax policy includes the very definition of concepts like “non-profit” and changes them around all the time. Marriage and family, adoption, energy conservation, religion and charity, higher education, home business versus hobby — what the government taxes and what it doesn’t, and under which convoluted rules with which convoluted rationales, includes churching and schooling right in there on everybody’s list one way or another.

15 04 2008
JJ

And what’s a trust fund baby? Why would a baby pay ANY sort of taxes?

15 04 2008
Crimson Wife

Think Paris Hilton and siblings, Kim Kardashian and siblings, Ally Hilfigger, Ivanka Trump, about half of my DH’s business school classmates, a good portion of those in Congress, and the current occupant of the White House…

15 04 2008
JJ

Ah, so not actually babies at the time of the taxing, but privileged beginning at birth, so that they never earn it themselves?

24 04 2008
JJ

My comment in the tax rebate thread, “Right Into the Bank” at Daryl’s today —

I’m with Nance. Young Son’s much-anticipated custom DNaill bagpipes alone will be more than our combined family check from the IRS. Or we could say it will almost cover Favorite Daughter’s full day of psychological testing for dyscalculia next week.

And the fuel costs of all our “car-schooling” have ballooned without mercy! That makes everything we do more expensive, and it’s even starting to change what we do.

About ballooning the deficit, I have mixed feelings and see different sides — but mainly these days, is my beleaguered mom-feeling that my kids might as well get the benefit of a little more of the money WE earn instead of obediently sending ballooning buckets of it to the government that instead of helping anyone or anything, just feeds the political frenzy for more instead of better.

We still pay plenty yet our own kids receive so little from the obviously unsustainable entitlements. We don’t even qualify for employer or government subsidized heath care. And no matter what, our kids will inherit that deficit along with anything we manage to leave them ourselves, as the next generation of productive citizens.

So I am feeling it’s my patriotic duty to educate them um, creatively? — to be healthy, wealthy, wise and happy despite that destiny! With whatever resources are available.

(In my next installment I’ll work on rationalizing the bagpipes toward that end . . .)

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