Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taxing Situation!

    I like being an American Citizen, consider myself pretty lucky, but it doesn't really cost me anything at all.
Forty-five percent of Americans pay no Federal Tax at all and I am in this group. Twenty-five years ago it was the bottom 20% that didn't make enough money to have to pay taxes.  We are an expanding segment of America.
   I think there is a downside of living in a country and not contributing to it.  Oh, I pay local taxes and property taxes, it is just that I don't pay any American Taxes.  This is an element of the "American Dream" that has gone by the wayside.  The notion of working hard and paying your fair share will lead you to a life of success is not attainable to the vast majority of people.
    There are some efforts now in Congress to tax the rich a little more and you know I think this is a good idea.  Most of their money is made through "Capital Gains" (think money making money) and taxed at 15%
with hundreds of loopholes and deductions to get out of even that.  This is an archaic system that worked when the money and jobs it created remained in the United States but so many get shipped overseas now and the money stays in off shore accounts.  This is not the "American Way" that lead us to such great success.
    But, don't leave me out.  I want to play too!  I think it is necessary to contribute something to be a part of a great country.  We are losing our sense of participation, of belonging, of "being an American".  Like everything else in life, if it doesn't cost us anything we probably won't pay much attention to it.
   Western Europe and a lot of other countries have the equivalent of a National Sales Tax, pay as you go and pay on everything and there is no April 15th tax day.  The wealthy pay more because they buy more and the poor pay less because they buy less but everyone contributes.  There are no write-offs and loopholes.
It has to be clear by now to everyone that our present tax codes do not work.
   I am a product of the 1960's and I hate war.  It is not a polite way to resolve differences and is always expensive.  I miss the draft though.  Oh there were ways out of it if you really put up a fuss.  There were all kinds of alternative services you could do.  I like the idea of serving your country, two years out of a lifetime
helping other people, learning and contributing.  An investment in America.
   These are horrible economic times.  Forty-five million Americans are not choosing to pay nothing in taxes.
We are not choosing to be left out.  We would like to join in the discussion of what it means to be an American Citizen, the Rights and Responsibilities and contributions.  It is not a good feeling to say "I did nothing,"  "I paid nothing", or "I don't even know anything."  That is not us.  That is not who we are.

My Art Site is HERE.


Kay said...

Jerry..I agree. I would love to do my fair share. But I can't even get an interview for a measly little part time job! I never felt taxes were unfair to pay. I believe that we all should contribute. I wonder how the rich really will feel on their judgement day if they have to admit that they never paid their fair share. I have paid my share since I was 12 years old..that is 46 years of paying, besides all the sales taxes etc. Now I suppose I could just give up and never pay again, and also never be paid again..but it goes against the grain..I am capable and dependable and I want to work! So I will figure out how to participate in the broken system that is limping along right now in the USA.I vote, I try to work and contribute and it is all I can do.

stonepost said...

It is a broken system, Kay, and until we admit this and be willing to talk about it, it won't get fixed.

AutumnLeaves said...

Oh dear. I can't even begin to expostulate, speculate, unequivocate (notice the "un"), orate. I just imagine Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin...spinning in their graves at the progression of their best laid ideals.