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Taxes and the Economy

"...taxes in the mother country had ...destroyed one of the most beautiful systems that ever the world saw." -- The Christian Philosophy of Patrick Henry 

"The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets." --James Madison, Federalist No. 10 , 1787

"There is far more danger in public than in private monopoly, for when Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meet, and that is the first requisite of business." --Thomas Edison

July 23, 1764 Massachusetts lawyer James Otis, Jr. published his thoughts on taxation, coining the phrase "taxation without representation."

"If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute." --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration." --Alexander Hamilton, remarks to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

"A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species." --James Madison Primary Author of the U.S. Constitution

"As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established." --Alexander Hamilton, Report on Public Credit

Where Does the Federal Government Get All That Money? - (PragerU) Information Station ...Did you know that the U.S. federal government collects more than $3 trillion in taxes each year? Where does all that money come from? Find out in this short video. ...This video is part of a collaborative business and economics project with Job Creators Network and Information Station. To learn more, visit informationstation.org.

The Waste Tax 2015 - Citizens Against Government Waste


Where did your tax money go? 2014 Heritage Foundation

Where Does All the Money Go?


  • Mandating charity - EarsToHear.net resource revealing how Progressive/Socialist/Marxist mandates undermine both charity and violate the Constitution.

  • The "Freedom in the 50 States" study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more. It found that the freest states tended to be conservative "red" states, while the least free were liberal "blue" states. The freest state overall, the researchers concluded, was North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The least free state by far was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.
  • The Financial States of America (MoneyChoice.org) - Interactive graphic on how each state ranks recently in terms of many economic and social factors, comparing how each state is fairing during challenging times.
  • MyGovCost.org The Government Cost Calculator is a unique service from The Independent Institute that enables any American to clearly understand three aspects of federal government spending. First, the Calculator helps you determine how much you will pay for various federal programs now and over the course of a lifetime. Second, it compares those tax payments to the forgone earnings that would have been possible if such funds were kept and invested in private market accounts. Finally, the Calculator enables you to see the difference between government expenditures and your tax payments, clearly illustrating the growing debt obligations you face in the future. Unlike total or "per capita"ť government debt calculators currently available, the Calculator personalizes government spending, enabling you to see how much federal programs are costing you now and how much they will cost you in the future. MyGovCost.org is made possible by the generosity of our Independent Associate Members.

  • ShowMeTheSpending.org

  • Heritage Foundation

  • Americans For Tax Reform

  • Citizens Against Government Waste

  • Consumer Alert is everything that most other self-styled consumerist organizations are not: scholarly, scientific, honest, and motivated not by self-interest, but by the public interest."  --Dr. Henry Miller: Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Unlike Ralph Nader's government regulate everything agenda

  • The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large. The Center�s work is aimed at creating a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more responsive government.

  • Citizens for a Sound Economy Since 1984, the 280,000 members of CSE have been fighting for lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

  • Sign Grassfire's "Taxpayer Freedom and Fairness" Petition Add your name to our "Taxpayer Freedom and Fairness" petition. With the death tax in place, The Heritage Foundation estimates that between 170-250K jobs are lost each year. Repealing the tax, they believe, would throw open the door to low-income workers, recent college grads who are trying to break into the workforce. Grassfire doesn't believe hard working citizens need to be taxed twice--both in life and death. We don't think a family should have to liquidate assets just so the U.S. government can get their 55% of the pie. This is wrong, and we are doing something about it.

  • The Fair Tax is a 23 percent consumption tax on all new purchases. Unlike the current system that siphons off $23 from every $100 earned, the Fair Tax gives the consumer the control who much he/she is taxed--the more you spend, the more you are taxed. The Fair Tax system would replace the entire federal income tax and Social Security systems. All current forms of federal taxation would end. In other words, you would keep 100 percent of your paycheck. Your savings and investments would never be taxed. And the best part? The Fair Tax would completely fund the federal government, Social Security and Medicare! Sign the Petition

  • Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Center for Fiscal Accountability calculate Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels. In 2010, Cost of Government Day falls on August 19.  Working people must toil 231 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government - 8 days later than last year and a full 32 days longer than 2008. In other words, in 2010 the cost of government consumes 63.41 percent of national income.  To read the report on your computer, and to view additional resources, including a chart room, media coverage, as well as last year's report click on the index below. For a pdf of the full report, click here.

o Emancipation Day, or Income Redistribution Day? - by Nate Jackson - It’s worth remembering too that not everyone pays income taxes. The top 20% of earners bring in 51.3% of all income and yet pay 83.9% of all federal income taxes. By contrast, the bottom 20% of earners actually receive money from Washington thanks to those in the higher brackets. What was that about a “fair share” again? Yet it’s never enough for Democrats. Socialist Bernie Sanders wants to raise taxes by a staggering $20 trillion over 10 years. He’d like you to believe that’s just on the “rich,” but such a massive hike would hit everyone hard.

o The Waste Tax (Citizens Against Government Waste’s) - American taxpayers would like to console themselves at this time of the year that their heard-earned tax dollars are at least going to finance national priorities, like defense, border security, critical infrastructure, and the essential social safety net programs upon which many Americans depend. But the shocking reality is that the government squanders a whopping 46 cents of every individual income tax dollar on the wasteful, inefficient, outdated, and duplicative programs documented in Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) Prime Cuts. Another 31 cents go to pay the $433 billion in annual interest on the national debt. That leaves just 23 cents – or less than one quarter of every individual income tax dollar –to pay for the services that Americans expect from their government.

o A List Of 97 Taxes Americans Pay Every Year - By Michael Snyder - Americans will fork over nearly 30 percent of what they earn to pay their income taxes, but that is only a small part of the story.  As you will see below, there are dozens of other taxes that Americans pay every year.  Of course not everyone pays all of these taxes, but without a doubt we are all being taxed into oblivion.  It is like death by a thousand paper cuts.  Our politicians have become extremely creative in finding ways to extract money from all of us, and most Americans don't even realize what is being done to them.  By the time it is all said and done, a significant portion of the population ends up paying more than half of what they earn to the government.  That is fundamentally wrong, but nothing will be done about it until people start demanding change.  The following is a list of 97 taxes Americans pay every year...
   ...In a previous article entitled "24 Outrageous Facts About Taxes In The United States That Will Blow Your Mind", I listed a number of reasons why our federal income tax system has become a complete and utter abomination that is entirely out of control...  

o Regulation: The Stealth Economic Killer By Bob Beauprez - Some rules are needed to keep order in a society, promote fair dealing, safety, etc.  But, regulation isn't free. The cost of compliance is added to everything that is grown, mined, manufactured, processed, sold, and consumed. Cost of regulatory compliance is a real cost of operation for businesses that effects market competitiveness of goods and services and thus can stifle job creation as well as salaries and wages.
   Taxation is tangible. State, local, and federal tax obligations are paid directly. They show up on a P & L in a line item, or at the bottom of a receipt at a checkout counter. Taxes are visible and easily quantifiable. But, the cost of regulation is stealth. 
   Seldom does anyone calculate, itemize, post and publish the actual cost of the myriad of rules that control our lives and everything we produce and consume. The cost is just embedded in the price. Whether it’s a box of corn flakes, the energy to heat and cool our home, or a new car, the consumer has almost no ability to know how much of the price they are charged is due to compliance with rules along the way imposed and policed by government to produce the end product for the consumer. 
   Just as the cost of taxes ultimately gets passed on the consumer, so too does the cost of regulation – except the cost of regulation vastly exceeds the total revenue paid in corporate taxes in America.  Additionally, the Obama Administration has been promulgating regulation at unprecedented levels. CEI, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is one of a growing group of organizations that monitors and quantifies the 80,000 or so pages of federal regulations in America.  Annually, CEI published an update called Ten Thousand Commandments. They also provide current updates throughout the year. Following are the bullet points for the August 5 weekly report, the full text of which can be found here.

o Random Thoughts By Thomas Sowell - If you believe Barack Obama and others who oppose what they call "tax cuts for the rich," you might want to consider what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." If you want to see some documented facts about tax rates and tax revenues, there is a box titled "Tax Cuts" on my web site (www.tsowell.com). Click on it.

o Media Research Center's Liz Thatcher - "The income tax was considered ... one of the most notable achievements of the Democratic Party. ... Following the 16th Amendment, the Revenue Act of 1913 was passed and signed into law on Oct. 3, 1913. And so, the income tax was made a permanent part of American culture. In 1913, the highest income earners tax rate was 7 percent. That is dramatically different from today's highest earners, especially after the latest increase in income taxes. As of Jan. 2013, the top income rate is 39.6 percent, after the recent spike in income taxes at the beginning of 2013. This is a 465 percent increase from the original 1913 level of 7 percent. Even with this huge increase, the Democrats and media alike continue to call for raising taxes -- specifically on those who make more then $250,000 a year."  

o The Impact of Federal Regulations on U.S. Manufacturing The U.S. manufacturing sector has slowly decreased its share of the gross domestic product from 27 percent in 1957 to 12.2 percent in 2011... ...Since 1998, the costs of regulations have exceeded manufacturing growth by an annualized rate of 7.6 percent. In 2010, the cost of major regulations could reduce the value of shipments from U.S. manufacturers by $500 billion and manufacturing exports by 17 percent. The U.S. GDP loss attributable to the regulations ranges from $240 billion to $630 billion. Moreover, the average U.S. household's purchasing power decreased between $1,800 and $5,000. The Obama administration has instituted 106 new major regulations, costing Americans nearly $46 billion. (Source: Thomas A. Hemphill, "The Impact of Federal Regulations on U.S. Manufacturing," American Action Forum, September 24, 2012.)  

o Imagine no income tax by Daniel J. Flynn - Imagine there’s no income tax. It isn’t hard to do. No last-minute paperwork hell. And no IRS, too. Almost half of Americans don’t have to imagine. An estimated 46 percent of the country will not pay any federal income taxes this year. And you read this as though it were a bad thing? Too many conservatives deride the 46 percent who pay no federal income tax as moochers. On last year’s Tax Day, Tom Neven lamented at First Things that “half the country pays nothing towards a government that in theory represents everyone.” He asks: “Where is the sense of shared sacrifice that is part of citizenship?”

Heritage Foundation blogger Rob Bluey earlier this year labeled the income-tax avoidance as “startling,” “alarming,” and “eye-popping.” Texas Governor Rick Perry launched his presidential campaign by proclaiming himself “dismayed at the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax.” Half of Americans not paying federal income taxes is not an injustice. It’s a start. The 54 percent of Americans who pay the federal income tax should not want the 46 percent to pay income tax just like them. They should want to pay no federal income tax just like the 46 percent. The progressive income tax is an injustice, and people who love freedom should seek its abolition rather than its expansion. The 46 percent lives the way the 100 percent lived a century ago. They pay all sorts of federal taxes—passport fees, alcohol duties, tariffs on imported goods—just like Americans did in 1912. They even pay federal fuel and payroll taxes unknown to early-20th-century Americans. They just don’t pay an income tax.

...We have become so preoccupied with fair that we have lost sight of free. “Fair” is a word for losers. It’s the term universally invoked by losers in response to losing—“That’s not fair!” “Free” is a winner’s word. Free is don’t hurt me. Fair is do help me. But government is supposed to treat us equally under law. The progressive income tax doesn’t do that. It helps some by hurting others. So thoroughly has the land of the free become the land of the freeloader that we invert “freeloader” to mean the people who don’t give the government money rather than the people who demand the government give them money. A freeloader is someone who takes something from you, not somebody who doesn’t give something to you. It may be true that a portion of that 46 percent who won’t fork over their paychecks to Uncle Sam also get Uncle Sam to fork over a portion of the 54 percent’s paychecks to them. But the malefaction there is sponging off the government, not preventing the government from sponging off them.

...Talk of repealing the Sixteenth Amendment is dismissed as chimerical. But utopianism isn’t what it used to be. Utopianism is what will never be. The norm in American history is the absence of an income tax. The federal government used to treat all taxpayers equally under law. One’s personal business wasn’t the government’s, and ultimately, everyone’s business. A government that respects privacy fosters a people who do so, too. That something has been is proof that something can be. Liberals may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday Barack will join us. And Americans will live as one. "I didn't raise taxes once." Lawyer and President Barry Soetoro to Bill O'Reilly  "I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes," President Obama, September 12, 2008 

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income. This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income. This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare.  The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income "destructive"ť and "ill-advised"ť and warned it would hurt job creation.  

Comprehensive List of Obama Tax Hikes Which one of these tax hikes will destroy the most jobs?

For previous ObamaCare Flatlines, visit click here

See also: https://heritage.org/search?query=obama+++%22raising+taxes%22

A 1934 Political Cartoon that Presages Obama by Gary DeMar - Everything we are seeing today has been done before. A Chicago Tribune political cartoon from 1934 explains it all. The title is “Planned Economy or Planned Destruction.” It shows Trotsky in the lower left corner, Harold Ickes, who served as Secretary of the Interior under FDR starting in 1933, Rexford Tugwell (the man riding the horse) was a key adviser. Henry Wallace, the guy with the shovel, was Secretary of Agriculture and later vice-president during FDR’s third term. Donald Richberg was the second head of the National Recovery Administration. Notice the sign on the left side of the cart: “Young Pinkies from Columbia and Harvard.” Barack of Obama went to Columbia and Harvard. For those of you not in the know, a “pinky” is a budding communist: pink but not quite red. Also note the “Plan of Action”: “SPEND! SPEND! SPEND! Under the guise of recovery — bust the government – blame the capitalists for the failure — junk the constitution and declare a dictatorship."


o Website Shows Real "Cost" of Taxes A 30-year-old American with a high school diploma earning $60,000 a year will ultimately pay $471,512 in federal taxes. If that amount were privately invested, it would grow to the tidy sum of $2,626,347. That's the finding from the MyGovCost.org website, which has devised a "tax calculator"ť to figure out how much various Americans will pay in taxes, and how much those amounts would produce if invested. The calculator assumes that money would be invested in a diversified portfolio earning 6.09 percent a year, and that salaries would increase based on education levels. Figures are in current U.S. dollars. According to the calculator, a 50-year-old with a high school diploma earning $75,000 would pay $290,738 in taxes, which would produce $863,323 if invested. A 22-year-old with a bachelor's or higher degree earning $40,000 would pay $642,674 in taxes, which would produce $4,345,286 if invested. And a 30-year-old with a high school diploma earning $75,000 would pay $766,234 in taxes, which could grow to $4,083,643 if invested. The calculator even breaks down how much a taxpayer would shell out for various parts of the budget. For example, the 30-year-old high school grad earning $75,000 would pay $91,902 for national defense, $163,725 for Medicare — and $117,399 for interest on the national debt.

o The Big Deception - "I don't think we force [taxation]. In fact, quite to the contrary. Our system of government is a voluntary tax system." Harry Reid

"I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy." Thomas Jefferson

"[T]hose who have never broken free from the mentality of tax-and-tax and spend-and-spend still think increasing taxes is the best way to solve America's problems. ... We need a tax policy that offers incentives for people to work, save, and invest -- all the things that will keep our economy growing and improve our well being. We need a basic tax reform that will permit us to bring everybody's tax rates down. ... Our country needs leadership that can see beyond the demands of the special interest groups and prepare America for a better tomorrow." --Ronald Reagan

o JFK Says No to Obama Tax Hikes The Winston Group has created a new video contrasting President Obama’s positions on taxes with that of another president who understood the importance of keeping taxes low: President John F. Kennedy. As we (Heritage Foundation) explained in our own video last month, the Obama tax hikes are exactly the wrong.

o The FairTax and 9-9-9 Are Deception From the Right By Donna Wiesner Keene -  ...since the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on goods consumed, like food. The FlatTax solved this with a refund. Because poverty levels are also arbitrary, ALL families would get the refund check regardless of income. ...FairTax advocates don’t want to reveal the actual tax rate needed and that they are actually arguing for a VAT, the value added tax that is well-known as a complicated and paper-heavy tax at every level of business – and which has literally crippled growth in Europe for decades. Internally, FairTax advocates readily admit their system is an unpopular VAT and that businesses would have to close out books with the IRS for decades to come – the IRS is still fighting 1990s taxes, so it won’t go away soon. The Internal Revenue System in the United States is the easiest way to take political prisoners, and it won’t disappear because a new tax arrives, regardless of the rhetoric. But claiming 9-9-9 is any different or simpler is just as disingenuous. Governments never reduce or stop any means of taxation once begun – only revolutions do. To add a 9% sales tax while claiming to reduce corporate and individual income taxes to 9% is not only unworkable, it is impossible in our current system. Just ask anyone who watched the debt ceiling debacle. Citizens are being fooled on many levels by Washington today, but the conservative-led FairTax and 9-9-9 tax increases play right into Obama’s hands.

The Enduring Appeal of Tax and Spend - Surprise: free stuff sounds good to a lot of people. by John Hayward - A lot of people simply are not rational about such things.  One reason is the magic word "investment,"ť a crutch used relentlessly by Bill Clinton back in the 90s, and President Obama last night.  Investment conjures an expectation of return.  A company that "invests"ť isn't spending money, it is earning money. This is a useful conceptual shield for the Obama agenda.  A Fox News graphic this morning said "President Obama proposes spending freeze & new investments."  That may sound like an Orwellian joke to you, but a lot of people see it exactly that way.  Of course, back when Bill Clinton started making his "investments"ť - presented in no less glowing terms than Obama's - the national debt was about $4 trillion.  It stands at over fourteen trillion dollars today.  Obviously those earlier "investments"ť didn't earn a very good return.  How eager would you be to buy more shares in a company that used your previous investments to triple its debt?  Especially when it just squandered a trillion dollars, to almost no visible effect, in the previous year? People still love this talk because it showers them with benefits, paid for by faceless and evil rich people.

The Power to Tax ... and Revolt By Mark Alexander - In the early dawn of that first Patriots' Day, April 19th, Captain John Parker, commander of the Lexington militia, ordered, "Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they want a war let it begin here." That it did -- American Minutemen fired the "shot heard round the world," as immortalized by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, confronting British Regulars on Lexington Green and at Concord's Old North Bridge. Thus, by the time the Second Continental Congress convened on May 10th, 1775, the young nation was in open war for liberty and independence, which would not be won until a full decade later. (Read more here.)

Today, the tax burden borne by most Americans, even those who pay no direct federal taxes but at the least pay a great hidden cost in federal regulation, is far greater than that which incited our Founders to revolution. Thus, some 221 years after the ratification of our Constitution, Americans are once again at a crossroads with oppressive centralized government -- a point at which we must choose to turn up toward liberty or down toward tyranny and anarchy. Those at the helm of the federal government, by way of generations of overreaching executive orders, legislative malfeasance and judicial diktat, have abandoned their sacred oaths to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same."

Although our Constitution provides the People with an authentic means for amendment as prescribed in Article V, successive generations of leftists have, by way of legislation, regulation and activist courts, altered that august founding convention well beyond any semblance of its original intent. Consequently, they have undermined constitutional Rule of Law, supplanting it with the rule of men. They have done so in order to win the allegiance of special interest constituencies, which then ensure perpetual re-election of their sponsors in return for political and economic agendas structured on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collectivism. How have leftist politicians succeeded in this assault? They accomplished this through direct taxation on an ever-smaller number of Americans for the benefit of an ever-larger number of Americans -- "progressive taxation" and "social justice" as the Left so self-righteously calls it.

...The time is at hand when we must inquire with a unified voice: "If there is no constitutional authority for most laws and regulations enacted by Congress and enforced by the central government, then by what authority do those entities lay and collect taxes to fund such laws and regulations?" (See the Patriot Declaration.)

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --Justice John Marshall, McCullough v. Maryland, 1819

House Ways and Means Committee Republicans have issued a summary of the 25 tax increases signed into law by President Obama so far. They total $670 billion over the next 10 years, including 14 tax hikes which break Obama's 2008 campaign pledge never to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.

America becomes a two-class society PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY � Income tax day, April 15, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes: those who pay for the services provided by government and the freeloaders. The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47%...

Few lawmakers file their own taxes, citing code's complexity

2010 Pig Book Summary The Congressional Pig Book is CAGW's annual compilation of the pork-barrel projects in the federal budget.  The 2010 Pig Book identified 9,129 projects at a cost of $16.5 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts for fiscal 2009.  A "pork" project is a line-item in an appropriations bill that designates tax dollars for a specific purpose in circumvention of established budgetary procedures.  To qualify as pork, a project must meet one of seven criteria that were developed in 1991 by CAGW and the Congressional Porkbusters Coalition. Complete Pork Database: Search all 9,129 projects by keyword, member, state, party or appropriations bill. 

Taxpayers foot State Department's stiff liquor bill Months after President Obama urged federal agencies last year to cut wasteful spending, the U.S. Department of State paid $3,814 to fill an order of Jack Daniel's whiskey for gratuities at one of its many overseas embassies.

Thomas Jefferson (letter to Joseph Milligan, 6 April 1816) Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., vol. 14 (465) "For example. If the system be established on basis of Income, and his just proportion on that scale has been already drawn from every one, to step into the field of Consumption, and tax special articles in that, as broadcloth or homespun, wine or whiskey, a coach or a wagon, is doubly taxing the same article. For that portion of Income with which these articles are purchased, having already paid its tax as Income, to pay another taz on the thing it purchased, is paying twice for the same thing; it is an  aggrievance on the citizens who use these articles in exoneration of those who do not, contrary to the most sacred of the duties of a government, to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens."

Accounts Receivable Tax Cigarette Tax Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing  License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax  Gross Receipts Tax Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax Personal Property Tax Property Tax
Real Estate Tax Service Charge Tax Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax Sales Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service  Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax  Telephone Recurring and  Non-recurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Taxes Vehicle  License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft  Registration Tax Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax    

More? 7 Crazy Taxes from the US and Abroad  From nose ring taxes in Arkansas, to wig powder taxes in England, there were plenty of crazy taxes to choose from. The following are just a few of the most interesting taxes in the United States, and abroad.

Federal Income Taxes: Who Pays and How Much (pdf)
Americans for Tax Reform provides two tables.


Tax Facts 2010 Part I Harris Sherline - Another year of tax season agony has begun, and it�s time to make my annual observations about taxation in America. Following are some random facts (in no particular order) about our income tax laws, who pays, who doesn�t, and the impacts our system of taxation has on the nation�s productivity:

  • When the 16th Amendment to the Constitution established the federal income tax in 1913, the intent was to tax only the very rich. Rates began at 1% and increased to 7% for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1% of the population paid any income tax at all, compared with almost 50% of taxpayers paying as much as 35% of their taxable income today.
  • The federal tax code grew from 14 pages in 1913 to over 9,000 pages today, and it now requires some 66,000 pages to document all the IRS regulations and other source material.
  • The Tax Foundation�s 2007 survey reported that 83 percent of Americans felt the income tax code was too complex. While the average American paid 32.4 percent of their income on taxes, they believed the total of federal, state and local taxes should not exceed 14.7 percent.
  • It�s almost impossible to accurately comply with the federal tax law, no matter how honest and well-intentioned taxpayers may be. In 1998 there were 34 million civil penalties assessed by the IRS.
  • Today, the top 5% of wage earners pay a little over 54% of total individual income taxes, while the top 10% pay about 60%, and the top 50% pay approximately 97%. Translation: Just half of all taxpayers pay almost 100% (96.54%) of all income taxes, while almost 50% pay no income taxes at all.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approximately 94,000 employees (FTEs or full-time equivalents) and a total 2010 budget of $12.4 billion. ...more

I Don't Vote for Tax Hikers! - On both the federal and state level, governments are now facing the unpleasant prospect of having to pay the piper for years of irresponsible and wasteful spending. So what's the answer? If you believe many of the lawmakers that got us into this mess, the "solution" is to boost your taxes even higher. At NTU, we have a different answer: Don't Vote for Tax Hikers! We're launching a website called www.NoTaxHikers.org, where you can join your fellow citizens in pledging not to vote for politicians who seek to raise taxes. In return for signing up, we'll send you a FREE bumper sticker declaring, "I Don't Vote for Tax Hikers." You can display the sticker on your car or in your home as an eye-catching way of showing your fellow voters that you've had enough! No one should have to pay higher taxes to fix the mess politicians made.

Tax Day Update: A Day of Wasting and Losing Billions of Dollars If you want to know what a better system would look like, take a minute to calculate your taxes on our Flat Tax Calculator. You will see how easy and quick it would be if we had an income tax that was simpler, fairer and flatter. While some in Congress are pushing for the largest tax increase in U.S. history, others are putting forth better ideas. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has authored a bill called Scrap the Code (H.R. 510) that would create a pathway to fundamental tax reform by throwing out the current tax code abomination. �Scrap the Code� has long been a slogan of FreedomWorks and it is great to see serious legislative proposals being crafted to make it the law of the land. Rep. Goodlatte�s bill has 97 co-sponsors already and deserves your full support.

Tax-Filing Burdens Worsen, with Little Respite in Sight, Citizen Group's Annual Study Finds - Taxpayers continue to be buried under burdensome federal income tax regulations, according to the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union's (NTU) 10th annual study of tax law complexity trends. Taxpayers using any of the 1040 tax form series will spend an average of 26.5 hours and $207 completing their returns this year, up from 25.4 hours and $185 three years ago. "American taxpayers are spending inordinate amounts of time and money navigating the nation's twisted Tax Code," NTU Senior Counselor and study author David Keating said. "Tax complexity probably will get worse before it gets any better, unless lawmakers start quantifying burdens (or, in the rare case, savings) for proposals that affect our tax laws."

08-31 Digest (To compare U.S. tax tables since the implementation of the federal income tax in 1913, see Tax History 1913-2008. The Patriot also offers a comparison between the FairTax, Income Tax and Flat Tax. For additional constitutional context, read To secure these rights... on The Bill of Rights and A Living Constitution for a Dying Republic. For additional resources, see The Patriot�s Topical Essays and Policy Papers page and our Historic Documents page.)

Of course, if history was taught instead of global warming, "We the sheeple" might once again become "We the people" as it is not like we weren't warned.

"We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much." -- Ronald Reagan

"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them." - President Ronald Reagan

Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt.
- Herbert Hoover

"I practice charity regularly. I believe in sharing. But when government takes our money by force and gives it to others, that�s not sharing."
- John Stossel

"A liberal is a man who will give away everything he doesn't own."
Frank Dane

"A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny." Calvin Coolidge

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

Aaron Russo's America: Freedom to Fascism (1 Hour and 39 Minutes) Is there a law requiring Americans to pay income taxes? Was the 16tth Amendment legally ratified by the States? Why was the whole idea of income tax that of corrupt bankers in 1913? Bankers, who are also accused of bribing Senators to pass the Federal reserve Act without the required Constitutional Amendment, when many Senators were home during Christmas vacation? These bankers knew that who ever controlled the money could more than likely control the government.


"If you examine [The 16th Amendment] carefully, you will find that a sufficient number of states never ratified that amendment." U. S. District Court Judge James C. Fox (2003)

Total tax receipts for the September 15, 2007 quarterly deadline reached $85.8 billion, a new record high, and $14 billion more than last September. Included in that total, corporate tax receipts totaled $71.8 billion, up from $63 billion this time last year. This higher revenue is the result of more productivity and wealth, and it's more proof positive that, contrary to what liberals would have us believe, the Bush tax cuts have worked.

"Despite all the tax cuts that the federal government has passed recently, Americans will still spend more on taxes than they spend on food, clothing and housing combined." Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge

Please sign The Patriot's petition for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

"The Declaration of Independence, the words that launched our nation -- 1,300 words. The Bible, the word of God -- 773,000 words. The Tax Code, the words of politicians -- 7,000,000 words -- and growing!" Steve Forbes

"Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets." Ronald Reagan

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." Winston Churchill

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." James Madison

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained  projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." Thomas Jefferson (letter to Shelton Gilliam, 19 June 1808)

"[W]e don't have deficits because people are taxed too little. We have deficits because big government spends too much." Ronald Reagan

In an era when our media and even our education system exalt emotions, while ignoring facts and logic, perhaps we should not be surprised that so many people explain economics by greed. Today there are adults including educated adults who explain multimillion-dollar corporate executives salaries as being due to greed. Think about it: I could become so greedy that I wanted a fortune twice the size of Bill Gates but this greed would not increase my income by one cent. If you want to explain why some people have astronomical incomes, it cannot be simply because of their own desires whether greedy or not but because of what other people are willing to pay them. The real question, then, is: Why do other people choose to pay corporate executives so much?... Every time oil prices shoot up, there are cries of greed and demands by politicians for an investigation of collusion by Big Oil. There have been more than a dozen investigations of oil companies over the years, and none of them has turned up the collusion that is supposed to be responsible for high gas prices. Now that oil prices have dropped big time, does that mean that oil companies have lost their greed? Or could it all be supply and demand a cause and effect explanation that seems to be harder for some people to understand than emotions like greed. Thomas Sowell

Mark Twain - The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise.

Do you favor a cradle-to-grave nanny state of socialism with government-run schools, government-run retirement, government-run healthcare, and UN-run "sustainable development" mandates? Do you prefer your life and "liberty" to be controlled and directed according to the Marxist and Hillary ideology of the "common-good?" Do you disagree with this Albert Einstein's observation?: "He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice." Do you also disagree with this Thomas Jefferson's observation?: "Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."

The Original Intent Behind Good Government by Nancy Salvato August 8, 2005 - "For the first time in decades, and perhaps for the first time ever, the opportunity for meaningful tax reform is upon us. President Bush has impaneled the Presidential Advisory Panel on Tax Reform and they are currently taking testimony from financial experts, groups and organizations."

Federalist Digest 05-15 For most of American history, taxes were levied primarily on consumption, rather than income, and for good reason. In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton argued, "It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess." All that changed in 1913, however, when the central government started taxing income. At that time, federal taxes were equal to 3 percent of GDP and the entire tax code was two pages. Now taxes are in excess of 20 percent of GDP and the tax code is more than 46,000 pages (including 481 separate tax forms). Additionally, taxpayers will spend a cumulative 6.5 billion hours complying with that code, and due to its complexity, more than half of taxpayers will rely on "professional preparation," costing them more than $200 billion.

Patriot Post 06-16 Special Edition -- Income Redistribution Day (excerpts)

Please sign The Patriot's petition for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The Patriot obtains research on taxation from many sources, but the best single source on taxation is The Heritage Foundation. Our colleague Dan Mitchell writes that politicians are "spending taxpayer money like drunken sailors," and "it's difficult to improve the tax code when government spending is growing three times faster than inflation." He has written a good essay on fixing the tax code.

About $8,000 on Social Security and Medicare; $4,700 on defense; $3,600 on programs for the poor; nearly $2,000 on interest payments: These are the major items on which the government will spend the $20,044 that it collects per household, on average. Is your family getting its money's worth for all that spending? See Brian Riedl's breakdown of where your taxes are being spent.

There are three other organizations which provide good data on tax issues. The National Taxpayers Union is dedicated to lower taxes, reduced spending, and the principles of rational and limited government. NTU is a primary advocate for a bipartisan Balanced Budget Amendment. Americans for Tax Reform opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle and advocates a tax system that is simpler, fairer, flatter and more visible. ATR has also sponsored the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (federal and state) since 1986. The Tax Foundation calculates Tax Freedom Day, noting that in 2006, Americans will work 77 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to afford state and local taxes. That makes taxation a bigger financial burden than housing and household operation (62 days), health and medical care (52 days), food (30 days), transportation (30 days), recreation (22 days), or clothing and accessories (14 days).

"The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful." Calvin Coolidge

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free." John Adams

"Throughout most of American history, taxes were levied principally on consumption, rather than income... In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton had this to say, 'It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess... If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the Treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.' Hamilton was thinking here about direct taxes on consumption, such as the sales taxes levied by most state governments. He was right in thinking that there is a limit to such taxes. Experience shows that general sales tax rates much above 10 percent are very hard to collect. They encourage smuggling, black markets, evasion, production for personal use, substitution for untaxed commodities and other activities that erode the tax base." Bruce Bartlett

President John F. Kennedy "Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased -- not a reduced -- flow of revenues to the federal government. ... The present tax codes ... inhibit the mobility and formation of capital, add complexities and inequities which undermine the morale of the taxpayer, and make tax avoidance rather than market factors a prime consideration in too many economic decisions."

John F. Kennedy addressing the Economic Club of New York, 14 December 1962

"I know you share my conviction that proud as we are of its progress, this nation's economy can and must do even better than it has done in the last five years. Our choice, therefore, boils down to one of doing nothing and thereby risking a widening gap between our actual and potential growth... or taking action at the federal level to raise our entire economy to a new and higher level of business activity...

"The most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand, to cut the fetters which hold back private spending. In the past, this could be done... by increasing federal expenditures more rapidly than necessary, but such a course would soon demoralize both the government and our economy. If government is to retain the confidence of the people, it must not spend more than can be justified on grounds of national need or spent with maximum efficiency, and I shall say more on this in a moment.

"The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system, and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top to bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes...

"I am not talking about a 'quickie' or temporary tax cut. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm, to ease some temporary complaint. I am talking about the accumulated evidence of the last five years that our present tax system... exerts too heavy a drag on growth in peacetime, that it siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power, that it reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment and risk taking.

"[We should reduce taxes] by a sufficiently early date and a sufficiently large amount to do the job required. Early action could give us extra leverage, added results and important insurance against recession. Too large a tax cut, of course, could result in inflation and insufficient future revenues, but the greater danger is a tax cut too little or too late to be effective.

"I do not underestimate the obstacles which the Congress will face in enacting such legislation. No one will be satisfied. Everyone will have his own approach, his own bill, his own reductions. A high order of restraint and determination will be required if the possible is not to wait on the perfect.

"This nation can afford to reduce taxes... but we cannot afford to do nothing. For on the strength of our free economy rests the hope of all free nations."

Thinking through tax rates by Bruce Bartlett (3/30/2005) As people work on their tax returns, they would do well to spend a couple of minutes before they finish calculating their tax rates. This is important information that may surprise many taxpayers and could affect routine decisions they make about their investments and lifestyles. The first calculation is simply the mean or average tax rate.  This is the tax you owe on line 62 of the 1040 form divided by the income figure on line 22.  (To be more accurate, you should also add income for tax-exempt bonds on line 8b.)

Thomas Jefferson:  "Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands."

"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."

James Madison: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...."

Benjamin Franklin: When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

"Every time we talk about these taxes we get around to the idea of 'from each according to his capacity and to each according to his needs'. That's socialism. It's written into the Communist Manifesto. Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening to him."  T. Coleman Andrews

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy."  Justice John Marshall

"What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin."  Mark Twain

"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."  Ronald Reagan

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