Monday, March 27, 2006

Taxation From Hell

After reading a bit on the British version of the inheritance tax over at the Adam Smith Institute Blog, I got to thinking about that whole deal here on the west side of the pond.

Just to make things clear right away, I am as opposed to any form of inheritance (or death, if you will) tax the government can possibly think of.

I was thinking to myself (seeing as my roommate would have no interest in hearing my contemplations) that not only are we taxed when we work, but we are taxed when we shop, when we invest, when we retire, and when we die! I have, most assuredly, left out something that we are taxed for, but I have neither the time nor the patience to find out what that may be.

I seem to recall the 18th century, when our humble central government survived on duties gathered from liquor and tobacco products alone. These small excise taxes led to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Sure the higher tax rate for small producers over larger competitors was a big reason for the rebellion, but can you imagine what would have come from quadruple-taxation, and worse?!

I must say our national government must be supremely thrilled that we haven't rioted through the streets demanding our money back. The Framers must be reeling in their graves and begging God to reincarnate them so they can give Congress their comeuppance for being such greedy swine. President Washington would throw a fit of astronomical proportions over current congressional salaries.

All history aside, our current tax system is simply outrageous. If a tax on labor isn't disturbing enough, then surely a tax on gasoline and liquor and tobacco products, a tax on nearly all goods, a tax on dividends and capital gains, and a tax on the estates of the recently deceased surely take the cake. The last tax mentioned, affectionately referred to as the "death tax" is so abhorrent, I can hardly put it into words. For those estates just barely over the threshold of qualification, half of the assets to be given to the next generation are seized by the federal government (or more accurately, 46% for 2006). If these assets include a family-owned business and a modestly-sized house, one of the two must be relinquished.

It is a sad state of affairs in which a nation must steal from the families of the dead to pay their own debts because they don't know when to set down the checkbook. Thankfully this wretched tax will be phased out in 2010 once and for all ...


Blog4Brains said...

The taxes that get me are the ones you get on your utilitiy and phone bills...WTF are they? There are so many with so many different and veiled descriptions, that no one dares go there.

Great article. And Amen!!

Anonymous said...

Certainly we pay too much in taxes. The real issue is the government spending. Whatever is spend must be paid for. When the government borrows to pay it later, it costs even more. Instead of talking about how we get taxed coming and going, let's reduce all the spending, then we won't need to pay so much.

The other problem is with all that spending, why don't I see any benefit? The roads are in terrible condition, we have no military or police security. Education in America is a joke. Millions have no jobs. Millions more have no access to medical care. The government takes tons of money claiming it will help with these issues but spends all the money and never seems to get around to making our lives better. Why not at least let the FDA do its job and assure us of a safe food supply and drug supply. Right now I don't feel confident taking any new medications because they have never been independently tested. All that money we paid in has just been wasted. Why should I have to pay to let some CEO of a major corporation win another no bid contract with no deliverables? We really need to end corporate welfare now, it is bleeding us dry.

If there are people getting some services from the government, let them pay all these taxes. It would be best if you only had to pay if you actually benefited from the tax. I don't have a problem with taxation for social causes, such as stopping illegal immigration so our homeless have a chance at those jobs; but obviously our government has not made enforcement of the law one of its priorities. We don't even have to catch the illegals, just fine the companies that hire them. Without employment they will leave on their own.