Tax this, tax that, tax everything
Tuesday marked this year's deadline for all Americans to pay their annual homage to their government by either filing their 1040 tax form with the IRS or a request to file that form later. The form must be filed in order for Americans to know how much of their hard-earned income their government will allow them to keep.
A poem circulating on the Internet that many may have seen describes the ludicrous tax system America now embraces. It goes like this:
Tax his land, tax his wage, tax his bed in which he lays. / Tax his tractor, tax his mule, teach him taxes are the rule. / Tax his cow, tax his goat, tax his pants, tax his coat. / Tax his ties, tax his shirts, tax his work, tax his dirt. / Tax his tobacco, tax his drink, tax him if he tries to think. / Tax his booze, tax his beers, if he cries, tax his tears. / Tax his bills, tax his gas, tax his notes, tax his cash. / Tax him good and let him know, that after taxes, he has no dough. / If he hollers, tax him more; tax him until he's good and sore. / Tax his coffin, tax his grave, tax the sod in which he lays. / Put these words upon his tomb, “Taxes drove me to my doom!” / And when he's gone, we won't relax, we'll still be after the inheritance tax.
The foregoing poem was brought to you by the following 47 taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL license tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog license tax, federal income tax, federal unemployment tax (FUTA), fishing license tax, food license tax, fuel permit tax, gasoline tax (42 cents per gallon), hunting license tax, inheritance tax, interest expense (tax on the money), inventory tax, IRS interest charges (tax on top of tax), IRS penalties (tax on top of tax), liquor tax, and luxury tax.
Also the marriage license tax, Medicare tax, property tax, real estate tax, service charge tax, social security tax, road usage tax (truckers), sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, school tax, state income tax, state unemployment tax (SUTA), telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal universal service fee tax, federal, state, and local telephone surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax, telephone state and local tax, telephone usage charge tax, utility tax, vehicle license registration tax, vehicle sales tax, watercraft registration tax, well permit tax and the workers compensation tax.
There are too many taxes to name them all. And then there are the miles and miles of government regulations supported by taxation that restrict individual liberty.
Taxes mean only one thing: government expenditures. All federal, state and local government expenditures are paid for by taxes. Taxation means less freedom. The more of one's income that an individual is forced to pay in taxes, the less freedom the individual has to spend the way he or she chooses. Therefore, the more government spends, the less freedom individuals possess.
Taxation is the antithesis of freedom. The payment of taxes is not the price free people pay for their freedom. Rather, taxation is the price individuals pay for being enslaved. The price of individual freedom is what Thomas Jefferson, who happened to turn 264 years old last Friday, said it was: eternal vigilance.
In other words, a free people's job is to make sure their government is significantly restrained in its interference in the life of the individual. Instead of worrying about what Don Imus said or the lives of Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, Americans must focus their concerns not only on their own lives, but also on what their government officials do. That is the only way to remain a free people.
Demanding more government services requires greater amounts of government taxation which in the end results in less individual liberty and greater tyranny. Government expenditures at all levels total more than $3 trillion annually.
It requires a tremendous amount of taxation in order for government officials to provide for all Americans and to keep them safe from terrorists through increased spying activities. And to keep them healthy by dictating who may smoke and drink and where they can do such activities. And to decide what is best for them by expropriating their property for what government officials think is the best use. In other words, to restrict the individual's liberty.
Not one of the taxes listed above existed when the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series in 1908. Not only were the Cubs winners, but the American people were winners too. There was practically no national debt, no inflation, and the savings rate was high.
Since then, government spending has increased exponentially, as has inflation, and the Cubs have not won a world series since. Hey, maybe when the Cubs win the Series again, the American people might get out from under government taxation and regain their freedom.
Go Cubs. Go Freedom.
Howard J. Blitz is a local libertarian and
president of The Freedom Library Inc.,
2435 S. 8th Ave. His e-mail address is