Free Stuff

by
Suzann Darnall

I get really frustrated when I hear people talk about "free" stuff from the government. Discussions of benefits that good ol' Uncle Sam is gonna pass along. There are no freebies from government. They don't give us anything they didn't already take from us or someone else.

It's the same thing with taxes. Despite what so many say, higher taxes hurt all of us. Somewhere along the line we all pay the big ticket. It just might be really well hidden. But, believe me, we pay. All of us. In one way or another!

For instance, if you save your sales receipts like my husband and I do, you probably notice that there is no sales tax indicated on gasoline. I learned this when I started saving receipts to use for income tax preparation. We are paying sales tax on our gas. As well as others taxes not called "sales." They give them various names depending on the state or location and some places have multiple taxes or fees.

Some include: sales tax, fuel tax, Federal gas tax, inspection fee, UST/AST Trust Fund Environmental Transport Fee, motor fuel tax, UST tax, environmental assurance fee, county tax, state sales tax, local sales tax, gross earnings tax, excise tax, Water Quality Assurance Trust Fund, Inland Protection Trust Fund, Coastal Protection Trust Fund, weights and measures inspection fee, diesel fuel tax, aviation gas tax, jet fuel tax, environmental response tax, underground storage tank fund, diesel surcharge, ethanol-blended gasoline, environmental fee, supplemental highway user tax, special fuels, surtax, underground storage tank fee, Coastal and Inland Water fund, Groundwater Fund, Petroleum Market Share Act Plus, index gasoline tax, UST fund tax, environmental regulation fee for refined petroleum fund, Environmental Protection Fee, Seawall tax, state cleanup fund fee, release prevention fee, variable rate, cleanup fee, oil pollution control fund, UST cleanup fund, AST and bulk storage fund, fuel oil and bulk fuel oil storage, Petroleum Products Gross Receipts Tax, loading fee, AND the list goes on and on and on. I only made it through about half the states when I quit listing the different names they use to hide the gasoline taxes, alone.

Now, not all of us pay all of these taxes and fees. Each area seems to have its particular way of doing the government business of reaching directly into our wallets and taking what they want. Consequently, there are different rates across the country. Just rating it on gasoline tax alone, Alaska, Sarah Palin's home, seems to have the lowest rate at 8 cents per gallon, while Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York all have rates over 30 cents per gallon. Then, we have to add in the more than 18 cents per gallon for the Federal gas tax, not to mention all the other fees and taxes charged in some locations. It all adds up to a pretty nice hunk of change for each tank of gas. But, if you look at your gasoline receipt no taxes shown at all. Quite deceptive isn't it?

This is how we pay a lot of the government's fees and taxes. In hidden ways. Sometimes we don't even actually pay the tax or fee, we just pay an increased cost for the item because the manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer has to pay the fees or taxes. They just pass it along to the consumer.

This is why I am so angry about all of the spending being done by our governments. Local, State, and especially Federal! Because it costs us money! Our money. Money earned by the people. Not earned by the government. It is our money. Not theirs.

Yet, they continue to spend and tax with abandon. And, they continue to try to find ways to hide the excessive taxes. And, they continue to talk about the "free" entitlements we will all get thanks to their generous programs.

Lies! All lies! As I said at the beginning, there are NO freebies from government. One way or another we all pay for the benefits, entitlements, and programs spawned by government. Even those who pay no income tax are impacted by rising prices that come when taxes are raised on businesses. And, it impacts the poor who do not even have income aside from government aid. Why? Because their food stamps and welfare checks will also buy less at the grocery store, just like our pay checks won't go as far when everything is pricier thanks to ObamaCare and the VAT Tax if Obama gets that one through.

VAT Tax. Value Added Tax. National Sales Tax. Just another name for increased government theft. I wouldn't mind a National Sales tax if they eliminated the income tax and so many of the other complicated tax programs we suffer under now. Our tax codes are so complicated that even tax lawyers and tax specialists have difficulty untangling the web. You can even call the IRS for advice and have them make mistakes. That is just wrong! Nothing should be so complicated that the citizens are at a loss in trying to figure it out. The idea that ignorance of the law is no excuse just doesn't carry a lot of weight when everyone seems to be ignorant about the laws. The tax laws anyway! It is an onerous burden to expect people to bear.

We can't expect to just turn off the taxes overnight, but we can at least make a start towards reducing the outpouring from a flood to a trickle. We can vote on November 2nd for more fiscal responsibility in our governments from local to state to national. We can put people in office who promise to cut taxes and spending. Then, we can watch to make sure they do just that!

Vote early or vote on election day, but vote! Vote wisely. Vote your conscience AND your wallet. Let's bring back responsible government and personal responsibility to our society. Make individuals accountable and make our government accountable. Accountability is not a dirty word. It is an important part of a healthy, thriving civilization. Without responsibility, accountability, morals, and ethics a society soon decays into decadence, chaos, anarchy, and destruction. Is this what we want to pass on to our children? I think we already see the rearing of the ugly heads of decadence and chaos. Let's stomp them back down before they stand too tall and overshadow all that is good and right in our world.

Conservative is the way to go! Smaller government. Less taxes. Lower spending. Let's give CPR to the American dream. It's been languishing for too long under the oppressive burden laid on us by an over-reaching government. We can give Lady Liberty the breath of life with the movement of a fresh breeze through the halls of congress. A breath of fresh air brought by people ready to work hard for us! Doing our will. Our way. With a lot less money!

© Suzann C. Darnall, OCTOBER 2010

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