All Taxes Are On Income

I keep seeing people talk about who pays taxes. And everyone talks about it as if it’s only the vaunted “income tax” levied by the IRS at the federal level. And supposedly, according to one side, the Democrats, only the middle class and poor are paying incomes taxes. And the rich are getting off scott free or at least not paying their fair share. Meanwhile, the Republicans seem to be awfully sure that only the middle class and the rich are paying income taxes, while the poor and loafers and freeloaders on the system are not. All sort of percentages are flung about on who is paying what portion of their income in taxes, and what percentage of the people are paying income taxes, and what groups are being screwed, mollycoddled, raked over or doing the raking. Everyone has their favorite bugaboo. But this is all in reference to the vaunted income tax. As if no other taxes are paid.

And that’s ridiculous. All taxes are on income and everyone pays income taxes. Why, it’s called a sales tax, or electric line taxes, property taxes, school taxes … these are all on income. There’s only one source .. and that’s your income. To somehow proclaim a sales tax not an income tax because of the point of collection seems silly. On what other source could it be levied? It has to be on income.

Supposedly renters don’t pay property taxes … silly … the property tax is built into the price of the rent … and the property tax is on income. For a guy who owns a few houses it’s on his income that he uses to live. If he earns $100,000 a year in rents, and pays $10,000 a year in property taxes … his income that he gets to keep is $90,000 … it was on his income – Disguised!

And so it’s not what percentage of one’s income is levied at what point that is the issue … the issue is what percentage of your income is taxed away to help you. And when one sees that even the poor artist who rents a house which doubles as a studio and earns less than the level that requires even the filing of an income tax 1040EZ form … he’s still paying a considerable portion of his income in taxes. Nearly a third when one starts nickel and dime-ing the fellow to death.

The electric bill comes with 5 or 6 “federal line tax” and “energy use surcharge” and “environmental remediation excise fee” and then there’s the renters tax, the property tax built into the rent, the sales taxes and who knows what’s hidden in the cable bill, and the phone line taxes, surcharges, fees, and mils and who knows what … taxes by the score. All levied on the guy’s income – for there is no other source.

Where the income might arise is another matter … but even those on complete public assistance still pay taxes – on their income. The never-employed woman with three kids living in public housing might get a cash/rent/food stamp subsidy of $2,000 a month – but by the time she’s done paying sales tax, excise taxes, fees, surcharges, mils and who knows what else .. she’s paid upwards of 1/3 her income in taxes. Quite a system, yes? The government gives her the money with one hand, and takes it with the other … to help her, of course. And hires a slew of people in good jobs for this very purpose.

Meanwhile, corporations supposedly pay no taxes. Well, sure they do. They too are hidden in the myriad of ways government levies taxes. Even if they avoid the income tax through all sorts of legal “loopholes.” Supposedly, we should tax the dickens out of corporations, so they pay their fair share and more … keep ’em in line, even. But this tax money is on the income of individuals who buy their goods. That is, if Evil Corporation brings in a $1 billion a year … if it must be 33% of that in income taxes it gets it from the schnooks who buy their goods.

Which runs at cross purposes to the concept pushed by many that we should avoid buying from corporations and tax them all the more at the same time. But, it’s “voluntary” tax … on only a few … those purchasers of goods. For instance, Coca Cola doesn’t get a dime from me since I drink no soda nor consume sugary/salty snacks – no chips for me. So I don’t pay Coca Cola’s income tax … no, I pay Kellogg’s … perhaps a Coke payer buys nothing from Kellogg’s … it evens out and we are taxed at the same rate – on our income, which we use to buy things at a given price, in which the corporation tax is buried – and the money all winds up in the same pot.

So, if you’re going to lambaste someone for not paying income taxes – stop yourself and look at their income (from whatever source) and what they pay in all the hundreds of little taxes one might encounter in life. You can complain about their income source, that’s a different story. But they are paying taxes – on their income.

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