Chasing that elusive Dollar
Watching the unrest going on in Egypt on the News this morning caused me to ask some questions. I wondered if that could ever happen in my Country, would the people arise and fight against the Government. Why were they doing it? The answers all point back to one thing, money.
Taking the required class of Economics and Government in my senior year in high school it seems was wasted time and effort on the part of my educators. Either that or I had the most boring teacher in the history of high school. At this point in my life I wish she would have had some spark of excitement within her bones to have made that class worth staying awake through. All I remember was “Test on Friday”. That meant study from the book Thursday night, get the test out of the way 1st hour and I was done., pass with a solid D. Nothing retained.
How boring was your teacher?
I can remember my second grade teacher who wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom, so I ended up vomiting on my desk. Mrs. Poole. Yet I can’t remember my 12th grade Government teacher’s name. How sad is that? Was the study of our Government so boring? Or was it my teacher?
If it’s the study then I can imagine why our young people of today don’t vote, or take an interest. Why they don’t pay attention to what out law makers are doing on Capital Hill. Where our money goes. Half the time the only thing the News shows regarding our Country is our President taking vacations or golfing. No wonder no one knows what is going on.
Let's chase that dollar together!
Ever since then I have been chasing the dollar trying to figure out where it goes. If you’ve ever had a few bucks in your pocket and wonder where it all goes to, how come it just don’t last these days, then come, join me. Let’s chase that dollar together!
I always thought the phrase ‘The Value of a Dollar’ meant the value I put on it. I suppose in part that is true. But for the purpose of this article I will try to explain, in my way of understanding, just why a dollar is not worth a dollar.
Taxes or Tacks?
First we have to understand taxes. Not I’m not referring to tacks, the little pointy things we hang up pictures with. Taxes. This is money our Government needs to run. They want their pay, first and foremost. Then we have all those lovely offices that hired decorators come in to refurbish with really expensive furnishings, in those fancy buildings. While those offices are being refurbished, those said officials must take vacations which of course are paid for by our taxes. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on.
Any Government program is paid for by taxes. Budgets are implemented by our Government every so often, in this it is determined what our taxes pay for. Since there are thousands of programs out there I have no intention of listing them all. A couple you might be familiar with such as FAFSA, Food Stamps and Department of Transportation. All of these are paid for by tax money. Everything from Federal, State and Local Government are run on taxes.
You may be wondering how this is possible when you file your income taxes each year and receive part or all that you have paid in. Where else are the taxes?
Where does the money go?
Before you receive your paycheck it has been taxed multiple times. Your employer has paid taxes on goods and services, the people he has bought said items from pay taxes on goods and services, and down the line it goes. Let’s break it down just a little more.
For example we’ll use a simple wooden clothes dresser as our ending point.
1. The land owner who grows the trees, pays taxes on the land. When he sells the trees he pays taxes on his earnings.
2. The one who purchased the trees pays sales tax on his purchase. This person turns them into wooden planks. He sells them, and has to pay tax on his earnings.
3. The one who buys the planks pays sales tax on the planks. He builds the dresser, then sells it and pays tax on his earnings.
4. The store that buys the dresser pays sales tax on that purchase. Then as it goes out the door the store owner pay taxes on his earnings.
5. The final purchaser pays sales tax on the dresser.
What might have started out as a few dollars is taxed so many times that in order for anyone to make a profit, the price has to be raised at each stop.
We must not forget all of the other things in between the growing of the tree to the finished dresser. Each company that handles the wood has electricity which is taxed, saws to cut the wood, which were taxed at purchase and has a yearly ’use’ tax within the business. The person who built the dresser has taxes they pay on their equipment along with their electricity tax. The store who sells to the public has taxes they have to pay on their electric use as well as office equipment. We must not forget the transportation for said product. There is the road tax, the fuel tax and a surcharge on said deliveries. Along the way each company has to pay insurance as well. Which gives high cost to the end product.
A brief run-down of our Government
In our Government we have several different ‘Parties’ the most prominent are Democratic and Republican. The most basic of descriptions I can describe them with is this.
Democratic - Tax and spend. Which means they raise the taxes, and with this your pay, and spend money on Government programs.
Republican - Don’t tax, don’t spend. Which to me means ‘Let the people take care of themselves.’
The problem with this, to me, is each term of office we either have Democratic or Republican. If we have had Democratic in office the taxes will go up and the cost of things will rise, pay will sometimes go up during this time, but not always. The people get angry and elect Republicans in office. Then the price of things stay the same, along with wages. Either way very few get to put money into savings accounts without putting a crunch on their own pockets.
The following elections come, things change and new people get into office and starts it all over again. So if anything good was started, it has been stopped or canceled by the current Government.
Preamble to the Constitution
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Is there no happy medium? Can’t we just get a party that is for the people, 100% of the time? Isn’t that what was the original plan? Tax a little for our Security and safety, help a little for the welfare of our people. Is there no way to go back? To somehow reduce the taxes that are charged multiple times on each and every item? Of this I have no answer. Will the answer lie within our votes? One can only hope.
For now I’ll tuck my dollar back into my pocket and hope that by reverse osmosis it will multiply by itself.
Yes, I know.
Let me explain, I do understand that our Democratic way of life MUST be run on taxes, everyone MUST pay their fair share. My observation is this; We are being taxed too much and not getting nearly enough back from our Government, by way of too many programs that are not "For the people".