At this time of the year, millions of Americans are rushing to file their taxes at the last minute, and we are once again reminded just how nightmarish our system of taxation has become. I studied tax law when I was in law school, and it is one of the most mind-numbing areas of study that you could possibly imagine. At this point, the U.S. tax code is somewhere around 4 million words long, which is more than four times longer than all of William Shakespeare’s works put together. And even if you could somehow read the entire tax code, it is constantly changing, and so those that prepare taxes for a living are constantly relearning the rules. It has been said that Americans spend more than 6 billion hours preparing their taxes each year, and Politifact has rated this claim as true. We have a system that is as ridiculous as it is absurd, and the truth is that we don’t even need it. In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in all of U.S. history was when there was no income tax at all. Why anyone would want to perpetuate this tortuous system is beyond me, and yet we keep sending politicians to Washington D.C. that just keep making this system even more complicated and even more burdensome.
If you hate taxes, you are far from alone. According to NBC News, here are some of the things that Americans would rather do than pay taxes…
Six percent would rather sell a kidney, eight percent would rather name their first-born “Taxes,” and 11 percent would rather spend three years cleaning the bathrooms at noro-torious Chipotle.
Of course our system was never intended to be like this anyway. Our founders hated taxes, and they fought a very bitter war to escape the yoke of oppressive taxation. During his very first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson clearly expressed what he thought about taxes…
“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
Why couldn’t we have listened to him?
When the federal income tax was originally introduced a little more than a century ago, most Americans were taxed at a rate of only 1 percent.
But of course once they get their feet in the door, the social planners always want more, and today we are being taxed into oblivion. Below, I would like to share with you three quick facts about our taxes that come from the Tax Foundation…
-This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day).
-Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
-Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
That last statistic is a huge sore point with me.
How can anyone argue that we are not a socialist society when the government takes more of our money than we spend on food, clothing and housing combined?
What they are doing to us is deeply wrong and it is fundamentally un-American.
And of course the elite have the resources to be able to hire very expensive tax attorneys that help them manipulate the game in their favor. At the end of the day, many extremely wealthy Americans end up paying a much lower percentage of their income to the government than you or I do.
For example, just consider what the Clintons have been doing…
The Clintons and their family foundation have at least five shell companies registered to the address 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware — which is also home to some 280,000 other companies who use the location to take advantage of the state’s low taxes, limited disclosure requirements, and other business incentives.
Two of the five are tied to Bill and Hillary Clinton specifically. One, WJC, LLC, is used by the former president to collect his consulting fees. The other, ZFS Holdings, LLC, was used by the former secretary of state to process her $5.5 million book advance from Simon & Schuster. Three additional shell companies belong to the Clinton Foundation.
One could argue that they are simply “playing the game”, but why do we have to play such a complicated game in the first place?
Another thing that frustrates me is how our tax money is being wasted. Speaking of the Clintons, did you know that Bill Clinton still receives close to a million dollars from the federal government every year? Since he left office in 2001, he has been given approximately 16 million of our tax dollars.
Does that seem right to you?
Of course there are other examples that should make us all sick as well. Tens of millions of our tax dollars have been spent on Obama vacations, and Planned Parenthood received 528 million taxpayer dollars in one recent year.
Our system is deeply, deeply broken, but I am under no illusion that it will change any time soon. It will probably just continue to roll along until it eventually collapses under its own weight.
And of course it isn’t just income taxes that I am talking about. Our politicians have become masters at inventing ways to extract money from all of us. If you doubt this, just look at the list that I have shared below. It comes from my previous article entitled “A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year“, and it shows how the politicians are squeezing money out of us in just about every way that you can imagine…
#1 Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew)
#2 Biodiesel Fuel Taxes
#3 Building Permit Taxes
#4 Business Registration Fees
#5 Capital Gains Taxes
#6 Cigarette Taxes
#7 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
#8 Disposal Fees
#9 Dog License Taxes
#10 Drivers License Fees (another form of taxation)
#11 Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax
#12 Employer Medicare Taxes
#13 Employer Social Security Taxes
#14 Environmental Fees
#15 Estate Taxes
#16 Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
#17 Federal Corporate Taxes
#18 Federal Income Taxes
#19 Federal Unemployment Taxes
#20 Fishing License Taxes
#21 Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas)
#22 Food And Beverage License Fees
#23 Franchise Business Taxes
#24 Garbage Taxes
#25 Gasoline Taxes
#26 Gift Taxes
#27 Gun Ownership Permits
#28 Hazardous Material Disposal Fees
#29 Highway Access Fees
#30 Hotel Taxes (these are becoming quite large in some areas)
#31 Hunting License Taxes
#32 Import Taxes
#33 Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes
#34 Inheritance Taxes
#35 Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses
#36 Inspection Fees
#37 Insurance Premium Taxes
#38 Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes
#39 Inventory Taxes
#40 IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes
#41 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
#42 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
#43 Library Taxes
#44 License Plate Fees
#45 Liquor Taxes
#46 Local Corporate Taxes
#47 Local Income Taxes
#48 Local School Taxes
#49 Local Unemployment Taxes
#50 Luxury Taxes
#51 Marriage License Taxes
#52 Medicare Taxes
#53 Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare
#54 Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don’t buy “qualifying” health insurance under Obamacare you will have to pay an additional tax)
#55 Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income)
#56 Parking Meters
#57 Passport Fees
#58 Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation)
#59 Property Taxes
#60 Real Estate Taxes
#61 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
#62 Registration Fees For New Businesses
#63 Toll Booth Taxes
#64 Sales Taxes
#65 Self-Employment Taxes
#66 Sewer & Water Taxes
#67 School Taxes
#68 Septic Permit Taxes
#69 Service Charge Taxes
#70 Social Security Taxes
#71 Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction
#72 Sports Stadium Taxes
#73 State Corporate Taxes
#74 State Income Taxes
#75 State Park Entrance Fees
#76 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
#77 Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services)
#78 Telephone 911 Service Taxes
#79 Telephone Federal Excise Taxes
#80 Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes
#81 Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
#82 Telephone State And Local Taxes
#83 Telephone Universal Access Taxes
#84 The Alternative Minimum Tax
#85 Tire Recycling Fees
#86 Tire Taxes
#87 Tolls (another form of taxation)
#88 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
#89 Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.)
#90 Utility Taxes
#91 Vehicle Registration Taxes
#92 Waste Management Taxes
#93 Water Rights Fees
#94 Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees
#95 Well Permit Fees
#96 Workers Compensation Taxes
#97 Zoning Permit Fees
So after reading all of this, are you still satisfied with how our present system operates?