RANTZ: The Truth About Income Taxes

Taxes are a necessary evil in our society.  However, income taxes are the least “American” thing about our country.  Contrary to what most people think, the income tax system is solely about redistribution of wealth and government control, which is anathema to the freedom we love to equate with our country.

There is nothing fair, equal, just or moral about stealing something that doesn’t belong to you, just because you want it.  Don’t call it the price of admission, because we don’t all pay the same price.

The current “crusade of rights” can only exacerbate this inequality, by making everything an entitlement.  While I admit I like the idea of free stuff, I am coherent enough to understand the world doesn’t work that way.  Regardless of your political persuasion, we all, in an honest moment, understand that limitless freebies are a fantasy.  Thus, we have income taxes, and a litany of noble justifications for taking property from someone else.  Let’s use math and facts to understand our taxes.

In 2014, according to the IRS, we as Americans paid $1.4 trillion in federal personal income taxes.  148 million returns were filed.

  • In 2014 the US spent upwards of $3.5+ trillion ($500 billion of that we put on our credit card). This means that an additional $2.1 trillion (or almost 150% of personal income taxes) came from debt, business taxes, tariffs, fees, permits, employment tax, employee tax, etc.  $1 trillion in corporate and other commercial taxes is a figure which exposes the lie about greedy businesses having all those loopholes you constantly hear about.
  • The average federal income tax payment, per filer, was almost $10,000. Which means if you didn’t pay $10,000 in federal income tax, you are by definition, on balance, getting more than you paid for.

What I found particularly remarkable came at the upper end of the spectrum, the evil “one-percenters,” not paying their fair share.  The evil one-percenters paid on average $457,656 in federal income tax, at the highest tax rate of 39.6%+ (or approximately 45X their fair share).

I’m not attempting to assign a moral high ground to any person over the size of their bank account, but we also shouldn’t demonize those that are, quite literally, picking up the tab for the vast majority of Americans, and just like all of us, want to pay a little less.  These are the real tax facts, we spend too much.

The only logical conclusion to more government involvement and entitlement is ALL of us keeping less of our money.  There aren’t some mythical people with a pot of gold not paying their fair share.  If you want lower taxes, if you want more freedom, if you want competition and options, the crusade of “rights” guaranteed by the government has to end, and personal responsibility has to win the day.

Unencumbered hard work is what built our country, and it is the only way to sustain it, there are no shortcuts.  Freedom isn’t free, and neither should welfare, healthcare, cell phones or housing be.

Editor’s Note: A guest post by former congressional candidate Gus Rantz.

 

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