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Taxes: The More You Pay the More They Steal

Updated on August 8, 2017
Garry Reed profile image

Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career with a passion for all things libertarian to become the Libertarian Opinionizer.

Pay your political masters

Income taxes are just the tip of the taxberg that Americans fork over every year.
Income taxes are just the tip of the taxberg that Americans fork over every year. | Source


Some see taxation as “what we pay for civilized society” while others see it as a necessary evil and still others, like libertarians, see it for what it is; theft. Taxation, in fact, is the fuel of corruption, war and the extravagantly opulent lifestyles coveted by a tiny but coldblooded cadre of ruling elitist parasites far beyond anything any earlier king, czar, emperor or conqueror could have possibly imagined.

So where does all this loot come from?

According to The Fiscal Times the IRS collected $3.3 trillion in income taxes in 2015, up 9 percent from 2014, and another $389.9 billion from businesses, the second-highest ever. Even after issuing $403 billion in tax refunds that’s still a lot of loot. But it’s really only the tip of a massive glacier when determining how much Americans pay in all taxes since income taxes only represent a mere 11.8 percent of the total.

The website reports that total federal, state and local tax collections are expected to hit $6.65 trillion in 2016. But is even that figure really anywhere close to the actual taxes that the statists squeeze out of us? We all do, no matter how frugally we live, pay taxes on taxes on taxes on taxes on every product we buy. How does that happen?

NOT a free market!

When one partner has a gun and the other doesn't it's not a partnership, it's a shotgun wedding.
When one partner has a gun and the other doesn't it's not a partnership, it's a shotgun wedding. | Source

Taxes are just another expense of developing and manufacturing the products that the majority of us want, right along with paying for leases, utilities, equipment, supplies, raw materials, maintenance, employee wages, etc. Manufacturers will typically pay business, gross receipts, sales, excise, self-employment, payroll, inventory and franchise taxes.

Once a product is produced it must be sold for more than the total cost of all the expenses that went into producing it plus a markup for profit that goes into paying investors, stockholders, constant modernization, upkeep and retooling and all of the many other expenses required to keep a business going. That, remember, includes the expense of paying taxes.

Depending on how competitive an industry is, as many of those expenses as possible, including the tax expense, are passed down the supply chain to the next business in line, such as the wholesaler that adds its own expenses, then to the distributor that adds its own expenses, then to the retailer that adds its own expenses, then to the final end using consumer who pays for all of those expenses and taxes even before reaching the checkout counter where city, regional and state sales taxes may be added on top of them all.

But those still aren’t all the taxes we pay.

A tax, according to the Collins English Dictionary, is “a compulsory financial contribution imposed by a government to raise revenue…" That means every penny you pay to government is in fact a tax whether it’s called a fine, fee, license, permit, penalty, certification, levy, charge, special assessment, duty, toll, tariff, rate, asset forfeiture, property seizure, surcharge, parking meter or some other euphemism.


Federal, state, regional, county, city, local, property tax, tax, tax, tax!
Federal, state, regional, county, city, local, property tax, tax, tax, tax! | Source

With this in mind Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog soberly observes in “A List of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year” that most Americans don’t have a clue how many taxes are fleeced from their pockets. “By the time it is all said and done,” he says, “a significant portion of the population ends up paying more than half of what they earn to the government.”

The most visible, common and frequent of those 97 taxes are for telephone (911 service, federal excise, federal universal service, minimum usage surcharge, universal access, state and local taxes), gasoline (federal and state excise taxes), utilities (electric, gas, water, waste, recycling taxes), cable TV (broadcast TV surcharge, regulatory video cost recovery, state cost-recovery, state local video facilities, state local video service franchise, city district sales, city local sales, state sales taxes), restaurant dining (meals, excise, tourism, sales, convention, economic development taxes), and the beat goes on.

The only way you can possibly avoid some, but not all, of these taxes is to operate in what government calls the black market, what economists call the cash only market, or what libertarians call the free market.

And just think, American colonists fought a long bloody war against the biggest superpower on earth over what virtually everyone would agree today were trivially tiny taxes.

So where do all of those taxes go?

They go to everything the average contented middleclass taxpayer wants them to go to: highways and airports and schools and food inspectors and dog catchers and hospitals and cops and fire and military and every social welfare program imaginable.

But a whole lot of that money just disappears.

From Reuters News Agency: “the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.”

So where did $9.3 trillion go? Of course the money doesn’t just disappear. Nobody flushes it down a toilet, runs it through a paper shredder, stuffs it in a mattress and forgets about it, or leaves it out for the same dog that ate their paperwork to eat.


Taxes: This is Oliver Wendell Holmes' famous idea of "Civilization"
Taxes: This is Oliver Wendell Holmes' famous idea of "Civilization" | Source

It ends up in politically connected people’s overseas bank accounts. It corrupts the most powerful, and therefore easiest, politicians to vote for whatever the army wants. It gets siphoned off into secret CIA operations used to intervene, destabilize, execute, assassinate, intimidate, bribe or whatever it takes to make governments around the world do what the CIA demands that they do. Or maybe it’s “donated” to the Clinton Charitable Foundation for the Coronation of Ste. Hillary.

Maybe $400 million of it ended up on pallets in a C-130 military cargo plane that was landing in Iran just as the Iranians were releasing American hostages in a coincidence that looked like a cash-for-captives caper.

But most of that “missing” $9.3 trillion ends up in the possession of the – forgive the repetition here – coldblooded cadre of ruling elitist parasites used to living far beyond anything any earlier king, czar, emperor or conqueror could have possibly imagined.

And remember, the political elite love to conflate “defense” with “military” to confuse us. True “defense spending” is only a small part of “military spending.” The rest of it goes toward national and international empire building.

But apparently that—another repetition –average contented middleclass American taxpayer just doesn’t care as long as she and he think they’re getting more from the massive legalized government embezzlement system than they’re losing to it.

Instead of these knee-jerk status quo government-lovers telling themselves “Think of all the wonderful things we get because of all those taxes we pay” libertarians strongly suggest that they free themselves from their stunted mindset and begin asking themselves, “What wonderful things could we have if we weren’t buying summer homes, private jets, limos, oceangoing yachts, global vacations and high-priced bedmates for our masters?”

“Military” vs “defense” spending – most people still don’t get the difference


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