Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pay(n) in the Butt!

There's an old saying that there are only two things in life that you can't change, death and taxes. From the moment we get a few coins in our little hands, there has been some form of government wanting to take a share, be it local, county, state, or federal. We were brought up believing that it's a citizen's duty to pay taxes in order to keep the country running (and spending). It seem that there is a tax on nearly everything that affects one's life, from food taxes, to utility taxes, and on and on.The political mindset is that you never think about the tax when you see the price on the shelf. Only when you get the final bill does it appear, making the cost of your purchase higher. Then it's too late , and you resign yourself to pay it.

What got me thinking about this occurred on one of my many trips to fix my computer a few weeks back. I pulled up the the little strip mall shop where I bought it, and had to park in front of the convenience store next door. There in the window was a sign advertising cigarettes for $49.99 per carton. Since I quit smoking years ago, I hadn't kept up with the costs, but I remember that the unbelievable sum of $5\carton is one thing that drove us to quit back then!

They say the high taxes on cigarettes are meant to be a deterrent to smoking. If you don't like the tax, then quit. This means that the tax is strictly meant as a punishment! It's unthinkable that taxes are used to take money away for no other reason than to punish someone!

Not a smoker? Then how about the tax on soft drinks that San Francisco want's to implement (or already has in place)? If memory serves me correctly, it's something like 35%! All this to force people to stop drinking sweetened sodas. What on earth does this have to do with anything? I can understand that a tobacco tax might apply because of health concerns due to second hand smoke, but soda pop?

Worse yet, there's a number of nutjobs in Washington who want an extra gas tax, in order to punish us for driving older, less fuell efficient vehicles. Many people live paycheck to paycheck in this country, and to screw them with higher gas prices is just plain wrong. The price of automobiles has left many people no other alternative but to continue to drive older cars and trucks. Many new cars cost more than a full year's salary, so if a person has a car that runs, and is paid for, why should they be punished?

The list goes on and on, from utility taxes, personal property taxes, (punishment for having stuff!) and food taxes (you eat, therefore we tax!). It takes a huge bite out of a person's income. What amazes me is that the Washington elite have no idea how much strain these little swipes at our income put on the family budget. If they don't like a product we consume, is that really any of their business?

It's time to leave the consumer alone, and have at least a few things that we enjoy!

Life's too short, and in the end, when we die, it seems that there's taxes on that too!

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