4/15/2011 1:19 PM ET|
Hidden taxes you pay every day
Government takes a cut of just about anything involving money -- and that raises the cost to you. There's the broom tax, the girdle tax, the tackle box tax . . .
Everyone knows there are federal taxes on tobacco and alcohol, but did you know the feds take a bite out of your afternoon candy bar?
Plenty of unexpected taxes raise the price of goods and services: so-called sin taxes, import duties, user fees and excise taxes on things as varied as gas guzzlers, firearms, communications services and air travel.
"Most of the hidden taxes pertain to products we buy rather than wages we earn," says Pete Sepp, executive vice president for the National Taxpayers Union, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C.
There's a tax on many of the items you think are free.
Here's just one example: The life insurance policy that your employer so generously gives you as a benefit is taxed if it is more than $50,000.
To make it easier for domestic manufacturers to compete, the government may impose tariffs on imports ranging from brooms to bicycles, making their prices artificially high.
According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, here are some items whose prices swell with import taxes:
- Bicycles: 30%
- Certain infant formula: 30%
- Flashlights: 125%
- Girdles: 20%
- Brooms: 32%
- Cotton hammocks: 14%
- Table linens: 113%
- Peanut butter: 132%
- Office or school supplies: 53%
- Golf shoes: 35%
- Cameras: 20%
Besides tariffs, Congress uses subsidies to manipulate the price of goods and produce to help American producers.. These costs are sprinkled over many products, such as candy, breakfast cereal and other packaged food.
"Who pays for these subsidies? All of us do -- when we pay our taxes that are used to pay the subsidies to domestic producers and when we purchase a Milky Way as a midafternoon pick-me-up," says Andy Pike, a tax professor at American University's law school.
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Consider the staggering amount of money collected at every level of consumerism in this country, then add in income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes, and STILL the govt can't manage to keep the roads paved and municipal services properly staffed.
Govt shutdown? We can't afford to keep it open!
Tomj14 - some people do, yes... but not most, not by a longshot. The people who paid into SS aren't the ones bankrupting it. It's the Presidents that "borrow" from SS for non-retirement benefits that are bankrupting the system.
Furthermore, just give me the boatload of cash I've already contributed to SS and Mdcr and I'll go away quietly (if you never take it out of my check again) BUT DON'T EVER call it an "entitlement" for those of us that have paid into it for it for many, many years. No, I'm not collecting yet, still have a couple decades to go but I loaned the government a great deal of money for my retirement and they owe it back to me.
BD213- of course you need to careful whom you vote for, but if you haven't noticed there are not too many choices in any race (2-3 maybe) and at higher levels only the rich can even afford to run and in the process they become bought out by campaign "donors".
To Ravenmad- SS would be fine if it hadn't been raided and used to payout to people who haven't put anything into it ever. IE: all the B#&*$hit disability payments for people in their 20's who haven't paid in or survivor benefits that go WAY beyond any contribution.
If the government gave us VALUE for our tax dollars and taxed EVERYONE/CORPORATION
fairly and proportionally there would be absolutely NO issue here.
Unfortunately, Social Security ISN'T actually an investment. It's nothing more than taxes paid by the "current generation" that are in turn paid in benefits to the "prior generation." The level of benefits is set, the tax level is set and the money is passed. It's a pay-as-you-go system. If the prior generation starts living longer, costs go up. If there are fewer workers per retiree (which is actually happening) the cost per worker increases.
The government tries to get us to think of it as an investment, but the way it is actually structured, its a welfare benefit.
RimRock... his wife has earnings too and this would include any money from investments they have, sale of any property, continuing residuals on the books he wrote..............
The salary for PRESIDENT is $400,000.00. The 1.3 million is from other ventures. It's the same with all Presidents. Bush made even more every year because he had more businesses and more money than Obama when he was elected President.
Others are meant to discourage certain types of behavior as well as raise revenue -- like the $2.14 federal tax on a bottle of 80-proof liquor and a roughly 30-cent tax on a six-pack of beer.
And therein lies the problem: you can't do both. You can't pretend you want to eliminate something when it's bankrolling your goals. At least, you can't keep it up forever. I believe that's known as "biting the hand that feeds."
sickofitall999 - Corporation's don't pay taxes they pass that onto the consumers.
spender101 - "Raise taxes or cut spending or both", we don't have a problem with Revenues, the only problem the Government has is spending (yes including the Military). We collected 2,310 billions of dollars last year, that should be enough.
bd213, I for one didn't vote for "anyone" that's in the government at this time, so don't point the accusing finger at me, and no, I did not vote for McCain either. I used to have this mindset that if there was no one running that I liked, I would vote for the lesser of two evils, but not anymore! They are ALL crooks, liars, and cheaters, if not before they enter office, they will be soon after.
I thought the President made 400k a year, but today on TV, they revealed his income tax filing, showing him making over 1.7 million, how can that be so?? I was under the impression the President could not have income from any other source while in office, but apparently that is not so these days! We the people of the United States suffer through our day to day drudgery while the politicians wine and dine, throw parties, and dinners, and take vacations and make tons of money.
Kind of reminds you of the Old Old Days when they had Kings and Queens, and the people were the Surfs! Doesn't look like we have "progressed" much past the period!!!
Let's take one family with 2 adults and see how much tax money (according to this article) they contribute a year, if they are involved with every tax in this article.
1. Boat ride, 4x a year, 24.00
2. International travel, 179.00
3. one gun per person @ 200.00 each, 40.00 (plus state tax)
4. Ammo @ 17.00/box, 4x year 14.96
5. fishing, (we'll be conservative) 60.00 for start up equipment
6. cigarettes, one carton a week (average) 969.60
Total for JUST these items, 1287.58 (1288)
Using a conservative count of 18000000 adult couples in the country the annual grand total is 23084000.00
Add all the other taxes we know we pay and some of them we don't know about and I'd say there's an abundance of cash flowing through our government's hands.
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