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April 15: What Does Your Government Owe You?
If you look ahead of you, you can see that you're fast approaching the exit ramp that takes you to April 15, that day in the American calendar when you find out what you owe the government. But have you ever wondered whether your government is making good on its debt to you, the taxpayer?
Carla Howell of the Center for Small Government proposes that government needs to shrink in order for the United States to function as it was intended, if America is going to function as the Founding Fathers planned and in order to serve the greater good of the citizens. In her article "Everything You Need to Know about Big Government, But Were Afraid to Ask," she warns readers that if they suffer from heart disease, or clinical depression, or merely frustration from problems that won't be quickly solved, they might want to avoid reading what she's written. But assuming that you're either in perfect health or you're taking your medication as ordered, you'll want to read what she's written about the size of the government that claims to represent your interests because, as you gather your receipts and make your appointment to have your income tax prepared, you should be aware of just what you're paying for.
Did you know...
"Regulations force individuals, businesses, political organizations, and charities to satisfy thousands upon thousands of government mandates — at our expense.
Big Government Regulations directly cost Americans at least $1.5 trillion, and possibly $3 trillion — or more — every year.
The indirect cost is immeasurable. These regulations force you to pay higher prices for the goods and services you buy. They take away many of your choices. They cost you a lot of precious time." Carla Howell
According to Howell, approximately half of every dollar that you earn goes to federal, state, and local government. That's around $4.8 trillion dollars. In addition to the dollars, Americans spend six billion hours every year in the process of preparing their taxes--filing, saving and sorting their receipts, meeting with lawyers and tax accountants, not to mention being audited. Maybe you're okay with that, figuring that it's the price you pay for being a citizen of the most powerful country the world has ever known. But have you thought about the other things that you pay for, and what they cost you, in terms of both money and time? Carla Howell has, and after you read her list, you might want to join the growing movement to reclaim your freedom by making government smaller. You pay taxes on soft drinks, you pay turnpike tolls, and you’re taxed for everything in between from alcohol to airline tickets. As Howell puts it, the cost of food, utilities, housing, prescription drugs, college tuition, and nearly everything that Americans pay for costs more, not only because of taxes, but because of fees and regulation that add to the expense.
And what do taxpayers receive in exchange? According to the Center for Small Government, your dollars and time are funding a Big Government that fails to perform effectively and productively and simply doesn't work. The programs that are created to solve problems, such as welfare and government subsidies for businesses, fail to enable the recipients--whether human or corporate--to become self-supporting. Programs that were created by the government evolve into new problems. For example, the government funding for medical care meant that health care facilities and staff became accountable not to the patients that they treated, but to the government that funded the coverage. While government-funded programs work with billions of tax dollars, charities and service organizations have to make every dollar, which is given voluntarily, do as much as it can, in order to satisfy both the needs of the recipients and the expectations of the donors, to whom the organizations are directly accountable.
Partial List of Taxes - Can you think of other ways we are taxed? Leave a message and I will add to the chart.
As its name implies, the Center for Small Government believes that big government is the problem, and small government is the solution. Small government can run efficiently and with thrift, while encouraging the self-sufficiency of its citizens and trusting to the charitable organizations whose mission is to serve to provide help for those in need. If you believe that small government is the answer, you may want to take the small government pledge. Doing that might lower your blood pressure and elevate your mood as you get ready to pay the bill that Uncle Sam has sent to you. You answer to the government every year in April, but every other year in November, the government answers to you.