July 18, 2009

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

A true measure of an economic structure of a country is to look at its tax rate. America is the land of taxes and if Obama's health care and carbon tax plans go through we could be looking at a marginal tax rate with city, state, and federal combined at around 50%. Consider that New Yorkers are already living in the tax capital of the world:

States are raising taxes despite the 'stimulus'; New York is No. 1.

Like the old competition to have the world's tallest building, New York can't resist having the nation's highest taxes. So after California raised its top income tax rate to 10.55% last month, Albany's politicians leapt into action to reclaim high-tax honors. Maybe C-Span can make this tax competition a new reality TV series; Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, could host.

Mr. Silver says of the coming tax hikes: "We've done it before. There hasn't been a catastrophe." Oh, really? According to Census Bureau data, over the past decade 1.97 million New Yorkers left the state for greener pastures -- the biggest exodus of any state. New York City has lost more than 75,000 jobs since last August, and many industrial areas upstate are as rundown as Detroit. The American Legislative Exchange Council recently said New York had the worst economic outlook of all 50 states, including Michigan. And that analysis was done before these $4 billion in new taxes. How does Mr. Silver define "catastrophe"?

Oh, and it isn't just high earners who get smacked. The new budget raises another $2 billion or so on top of the $4 billion in income taxes with some 100 new taxes, fees, fines, surcharges and penalties to be paid by all New York residents. There are new charges for cell phone usage, fishing permits, health insurance (the "sick tax"), electric bills, and on bottled water, cigars, beer and wine. A New York Post analysis found that a typical family of four with an income below $100,000 would pay more than $800 a year in higher taxes and fees.

If taxes are any indication, America's economic system is not capitalistic but socialistic.

With gas at the pump last year at $4.00 a gallon, much was made on how the price got to be so high. While a lot had to do with speculation, take a look at the taxes on a gallon taken from the Department of Transportation:

Average taxes: Regular Grade Gas at the Pump

State: 20.7 cents

Federal: 18 cents

Sales Tax: 5 percent

AND don't forget all the many Hidden Taxes that get passed along to the consumer one way or another:

Corporate Taxes: 25% of retailer's profit

State income tax 6% of retailer's profit

SO, take gas at $2.00

State: .21

Fed: .18

Sales: .10

Hidden: If profit margin is 10%, and leaving out a lot of variables, one would expect that as least some of that cost is passed along--although there is little price elasticity in this close to perfectly competitive market: Make it .10

That makes about 25% of the cost of gas due to taxes, which means we're paying a heafty tax every time we fill up.

On another note: It's time for an economic lesson on a common fallicy that is propogated that public works jobs--like those promised in the stimulus---somehow equal a benefit to society.

Public Works =Taxes

The thing so great that private capital could not have built it has indeed been built by private capital. The capital that was expropriated in taxes or if the money was borrowed, that must eventually expropriated in taxes. NEVER FORGET the power plants and buildings that were destroyed by not allowing them to come into existence in the first place due to their capital being taken from them to build the photogenic Norris Dam or thing etc!

Never forget the 2 sides of the ledger! While one side is comparatively richer, the other is comparatively poorer.

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