Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No I will not pay taxes on my two cents worth on taxes

Wait just a damn minute!

Let the tax rates expire; going over the fiscal cliff; the wealthiest two-percent; closing loopholes; blah, blah, blah. Here is the issue. Middle Class Americans pay enough taxes. In fact, for some of us, it is unbelievable how many taxes we pay. Property tax; income tax; personal property tax; death tax; marriage tax; utility tax; ENOUGH!

The tax code is ridiculous 
My poor husband freaks out every year when he has to do our taxes--and we are simply retired folks living on a pension. Our taxes are easy. We can't afford to buy anything, so we don't have many deductions--just our home mortgage. People structure their finances around the money they will get back from their taxes each year. Why is this such a difficult issue? Why do we get a refund anyway? Shouldn't we simply pay the proper amount of taxes all year? Have taxes ever decreased; we know they always increase.

Should we rewrite the tax code? 
What a stupid question? Of course we should rewrite the tax code. No guideline should be 71,684 pages in length, yet that is what the 2010 tax code was. As we say on Facebook, WTF!

For me, the ultimate slap in the face was the implementation of a utility tax. I recall the first time I heard about it. I was writing for a newspaper, covering a local community. They said they wanted to implement a utility tax to make enough money to repair a flooding problem. They claimed the tax would be temporary. Oh yeah, right. It didn't take a rocket scientist to predict that was never going to happen. They would be permanent alright. They are!

When we retired, I learned that no only do we have to pay utility tax, but we are paying personal property tax. This was a new one on me--that was ruled illegal where I used to live.

Too many taxing bodies have their hands out 
Today, we pay taxes on everything. Each unit of government, and there are way too many of those, plays the game of how much can we soak you before you have had enough? I'm crying Uncle! I suppose it is a sign of the times. People want instant gratification. No one wants to plan for their future anymore. We are living for today. Government is the same way. But, they are spending our money!

Then there is the tea party
For years I've told my friends, "We should have a tea party." I never meant we should become crazy mirrors of the Ku Klux Klan, as the current national tea party has done. What I meant was that there should be an effort to follow the guidelines of our ancestors--to insist there be no taxation without representation. Taxation in this country is insane because spending other people's money is just so easy. Government officials are no longer leaders; they are merely spenders.

There is no right or wrong political party 
Both political parties at all levels of government are guilty of creating an environment where the rich have it all and the rest of us struggle to get by. I no longer consider myself to be a member of the Middle Class. My future as an aging baby boomer is not financially pretty. I feel as though I am being taxed to death. When I consider a service, such as satellite television, for example, I'm actually shocked when the bill arrives. The final bill never resembles what I was quoted. State, local, and federal taxes make my bill unrecognizable. And then there is the phone bill, which is probably the best example of how not to run things. There are fees for things I don't even understand on what has become a multi-page two-sided document. Why is a telephone bill more than one page anyway? What are all those crazy charges?

The optimum word when talking taxes is SIMPLIFY! 
It is my favorite word of the day because it defines so succinctly what has to be done. The complexities that are compounded regularly must end.

Simplifying the tax code is necessary without prejudice against the poor or in favor of the wealthy. I don't advocate Herman Cain's 999 plan by any stretch. I don't want an across the board rate necessarily, because all issues have a gray area. They should be accounted for, but with the proper motive--the benefit of the majority of people. That does not mean loopholes to drive a car through just so rich folks can grow their wealth at everyone else's expense. That means using reasonableness and common sense wisdom.

That probably means the end of Grover Norquist, who has his own agenda. The only agenda should be for funding government necessities, cutting waste, eliminating unnecessary perks, and adding fairness. Taxes don't have to be a necessary evil. They can be useful tools to make all our lives better. Shouldn't that be what we all strive to accomplish?