Friday, March 30, 2018

That sucking sound you hear . . .


. . . is all levels of US government dredging your wallet for everything they can get.  It's bad enough at the federal level.

The latest monthly Treasury report on taxes and spending shows that gross tax receipts in February were $1.4 billion higher than the year before. Weren't the Republican tax cuts supposed to explode the deficit?

According to the report, the government took in $238.2 billion in taxes in February. The year before, tax revenues were $236.8 billion.

For fiscal year 2018, which started last October, taxes are up $50.5 billion compared with the same months last year, and are at a record high level for this five-month span.

There's more at the link.

Not content with federal (i.e. national) taxes, states and local governments - counties, cities, towns, etc. - are raking in every pound of flesh they can digest, and then some.

According to the Census Bureau, last year alone state and local governments collected a record $573 billion just in property taxes. That’s about $1,759 for each one of the estimated 326 million Americans.

Add to that another record — $386.2 billion — in sales and gross receipts taxes.

And another $405 billion in income taxes.

That’s almost $1.4 TRILLION. Quite a haul for governments. And yet, as the Wall Street Journal reports (subscription), state and local governments are hiking taxes and fees even more, claiming budget crunches.

. . .

Those sales tax takings do NOT include taxes on booze, entertainment, gasoline, race track bets, public utilities and tobacco.

The property tax total is up almost $22 billion over the previous record in the previous year. The income tax haul is up almost $5 billion over the previous record in 2015. While the gross and sales tax receipts are up “only” a quarter-billion from 2015.

Aren’t we lucky?

Again, more at the link.

Joseph de Maistre famously said that "All nations get the government they deserve".  I'm glad he didn't say "the government they can afford" - because we sure can't afford what we've got now!

Keep those numbers in mind when you read about illegal aliens being given benefits - at taxpayer expense - that many taxpayers themselves do not receive, and are not entitled to receive.  Keep them in mind when you try to pay your mortgage, or put fuel in your vehicle's tank, or buy food for your family, and come up short.  Most government bureaucrats - for whom you're paying through your federal, state and local taxes - don't seem to have that problem, do they?

You want real change, real reform, in this country?  Don't cap the amount of taxes - cap the amount the government is allowed to spend, as a percentage of GDP, and make that a relatively low percentage (certainly no more than 20% overall, for all levels of government put together).  If they try to spend more than that, all lawmakers who vote for it should automatically become ineligible to ever draw a state salary or benefit of any description, ever again.  I reckon that'd cut back spending, and the size and scope of government, overnight!




Peter

10 comments:

Aaron said...

Sadly, All this increased tax revenue still can't compete with the flood of deficit spending at the federal level. At the local level its still not enough to handle the pension tsunami and infrastructure maintenance deficits.

Michigan recently passed an increase in vehicle taxes, said to be to pay for badly needed road repairs. Instead the bulk of it is going to pay down debt from road repairs in years past, mass transit, and not nearly enough to cover the lack of maintenance to date. More taxes, less for them.

McChuck said...

Limit government spending to no more that 15% of the previous year's GDP. Like tipping a waitress. Any budget that proposes to spend or increase spending over 10% of the previous year's GDP must be approved by a 2/3 vote of both houses.

The 15% limit may be temporarily raised to a maximum of 25% during a time of declared war, by a vote of 3/4 of the members of both houses, and with the concurrence of 2/3 of the Legislatures of the States. This temporary increase may be for a maximum period of 12 months, but may be renewed for 6 month intervals thereafter.

Anonymous said...

The latest estimate of real US government debt it in the 22 TRILLION dollar range. With anther 60 TRILLION dollars hedged in the stock exchange. It can never be paid off. The Federals are stealing what they can, while they can. It is all phony money in computers. The elders don't understand this. Nor do the math challenged. The global market will die soon. The only way to cover up the largest theft in human history is to kill ALL computers. EVERYWHERE and AT THE SAME TIME. How they do that will be interesting to watch--if we live. Or did you think that every billionair on earth was building an underground escape bunker/ fallout shelter because they had all become paranoid at the same time?

SiGraybeard said...

Hauser's Law: no matter what tax rates have been since the end of WWII, whether 90% or 30%, tax revenues have been roughly 19.5% of GDP. Rates and revenues are independent variables. Don't make it 20% of GDP, make it 18%.

The problem with having them pass a law is that it's 535 lawyers - plus another thousand (?) staffers and lobbyists that write these things. They'll write the bill.

Do you think they're going to figure out how to cheat? Like moving Social Security "off the books", and raiding its revenue to keep spending? If you did that in your little business, you'd be in jail.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

What we NEED is for lawmakers who try to evade that cap to be given a one hour head start to get out of the country before the mob gets them with tar and feathers.

I'll SETTLE for them being kicked out of government.

Roy said...

I think the one thing we could do to bring all of this to a head would be to eliminate withholding.

If every taxpayer had to write a check for their tax bill when it was due, there would be a tax revolt like nothing this country has ever seen.

As it is, withholding means they never really see the money go out. Some do, of course, but for a vast majority, it's out of sight - out of mind. And if they get a tax refund after filing, it's considered "found money", money that has fallen out of the sky, rather than money earned through their own hard work.

Of course, the people in power in DC and the state capitols would never allow this to happen.

Chuck Pergiel said...

Inflation is the root of all evil.

Divemedic said...

The three big entitlements- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, eat up more than 50% of the Federal budget by themselves. Add in the interest on the outstanding debt, and you already are running a deficit.
Any politician who advocates cutting entitlements is out of office in a millisecond.

deborah harvey said...

how about if some of you who are young enough for the battle and intelligent and knowledgeable enough to do the job constitutionally were to run for public office and make a career of it?
learn all you can and form bonds of honesty and constitutionality with each other. have engineers and cpa's to call on for necessary expertise.
get rid of the fifth column and clean it out from within.
a long and arduous sacrifice.

maybe the foreign aid, which only goes into the coffers of dishonest politicians, could be cut in half this year and halved again next year.

here in ohio speed traps are popping up all over, even on state routes and especially near ramps from interstates. obvious 35 mph zones, all commercial,suddenly have 20 mph signs in place.
took my grocery money one week.
i will not patronize that town's businesses again and i take an alternate route when i go in that direction.
the legislature is being forced to look into it.
it is thievery, outright.

Unknown said...

David Lang says

The Trump administration has been claiming all along that lowering taxes would result in higher revenue as well as allowing people to keep more of the money they earn.

That's because the economy is not a fixed size pie, if you grow the economy, the government can take a smaller percentage of it and still end up with more money.

This is just the first proof that it's working this time around (it's not a given that lowering taxes will result in more revenue, it depends on if other things happen to hurt the economy at the same time)

Now, if congress would just get their act together and stop spending so much, we could grow our way out of debt.