Since 2006, as my real income has fallen by 25%:
- I have paid about $45,000 in property taxes to our local communities and school districts
- I have paid over $50,000 in state income taxes
- I have paid over $110,000 in federal income taxes
- I have paid over (via not just my share, but the real incidence) $200,000 in payroll taxes
- I estimate that I’ve paid over $35,000 in sales taxes (likely higher)
- I’ve driven myself about 150,000 miles. My cars have averaged about 25 miles per gallon. This means I’ve burned 6,000 gallons of gasoline in my car (ignore my snow blowers and lawn mowers and chain saws). At about 43 cents per gallon on average excise taxes at state and local level, I’ve paid over $2,500 in gasoline taxes.
This says nothing about how much higher my costs are due to regulations. Environmental regulations are though to cost 3% of GDP per year, or about $1,400 per person per year, so one can only wonder what the real costs of regulation are, and what the embedded excise taxes are that I pay on things over and above sales taxes. For example, I drink something like 200 pints of beer per year. at about a nickel per beer, this is another $10 in taxes per year. And so it goes.
So, a lower bound estimate for what I’ve paid in taxes, during a time when my real income has “stagnated” and actually fallen by 25% is $465,000. I would note that I am nowhere near the top 1% of income nor do I have any legitimate prospects of reaching that airy ground. I would note that we have two children who do not go to “free” government schools. We probably claim as little a share of government “benefits” as does any family in our situation, which is to say, none – just whatever our share of “public goods” we are getting from our government such as use of some roads, shares of national defense, drug safety, food safety, and so on. Given my affinity for competition protecting me and providing almost any of the things that I could ever imagine wanting, despite you wanting to claim that I get SOME benefits from the FDA, USDA and so on, I do not believe I would voluntarily pay anything near what I pay them to have the services they deliver me delivered to me – I am pretty confident Wegmans and Tylenol and everyone in between would have a strong incentive not to kill me.
Note, my wife resumed working three years ago and these figures do not include any of her obligations.
- Does anyone believe that I have received anything close to $465,000 of real, actual, benefits for this $465,000? Even assuming that as part of civil society half of this should be transferred to others, how much of my $465,000 do you really believe ended up helping people who need it? Compare that to what you think I personally do to help people that need it (it may be nothing, by the way).
- Think about ANY amazingly awesome government program that has happened in the last 9 years or that may end up coming down the pipe in the next 9 years. Do you think that any of those programs have delivered even a tiny miniscule fraction of $465,000 of value? For example, take ObamaCare. Its proponents believe that my premiums will fall by $2,5000 per year or some such nonsense. Of course my premiums are higher today than they were when the ACA was passed, but maybe they would have been $2,500 higher. Who knows? In any case, compare that $2,500 per year in “savings” with the annual taxes I am paying … it’s nowhere close. How many of you would pay $50,000 per year to save $2,500?
- Think about ANY of the awesome government programs that have been passed or will be passed in the future. Compare how much ANY of them could possibly change the life of me and my family as compared to even a ONE TIME reduction in my taxes. Imagine I’d been given a one-year reprieve in taxes – something in the $50,000 range. What would I be able to do with $50,000? We could save it and pay for both of our kids to go to a government university 12 years from now. We could replace every single window in our house, insulate every wall in our house, replace the old heating system in our house, and purchase some serious exercise equipment for our house. How life changing would that money be for our family as compared to anything our overlords do for us?
- Imagine I had not been taxed at all during the last 9 years. And imagine that I had the cash today and put it in the stock market. What would it be worth by the time I am 70 years old? If the market returns on average what it has since 2006, then I’d end up with just about $8 million from the tax savings alone. About half of that would be from the foregone social security taxes – do you think $4 million would be enough to provide for my retirement and elderly health care? How do you think that compares to what the overlords will have waiting for me when I am 70? Remember, this is assuming that I’ll pick up and keep paying taxes between now and then.
I am so very thankful for all of the wonderful things our government has done for me over these past 9 years, it has really made the “pain” of my lower real wages so much easier to bear.