Why don’t they just tax our corpses?

The act of taxing is an act of discouragement. Tax something and the economy will produce less of it. Tax savings and people will save less. Tax investments and there will be less investing. Tax savings and investment enough and the U.S. personal savings rate will decline, as it has in the past 25 years.

The tax system has a long, romantic relationship with your income. In fact, it’s a real love story. Taxes (local, state, federal) are in love with your money, and the love is all-consuming. The Wall Street Journal reports that first we pay income taxes and Medicare/Social Security taxes on money in the year it’s earned. If we put what’s left of the money in the bank or in bonds where it earns interest, we then pay taxes on that interest. Or, say, we buy stock with the money that’s left. Well, that stock represents shares in a company that has already paid taxes on its corporate income. Then, when the company pays a dividend, we pay taxes on that dividend. And when we sell the stock, we pay taxes on the gain. If we give away money to relatives, it is taxed above a certain level.

With whatever is left after the Feds raid your pocket, you and your spouse fly to the Big Apple for a little shopping. You pay taxes on the airfare, taxes to the airport, taxes on the rental car, taxes on the gas you buy, city/state and sports taxes on the hotel room, a “bed tax” for the privilege of being in town, sales taxes on your store purchases, taxes on the movie tickets. And so on.

We die. There is no relief even in death, as our estate usually must pony up taxes – -the final insult at the final sunset. “In other words, the same diminishing amount of money has been taxed by the Feds in 7 different ways. So you may be excused if you have the feeling you’re being stalked,” reports theJournal.

It’s actually worse than this. Not only do we pay direct tax against our income and our capital, the tax rates discourage incentives to work, to take risks, to save. And we haven’t even gotten around to local and state taxes. Here in Palm Beach County, for example, the county commission has over 370 sources of tax/fee revenues. In this county, with all the special taxing districts, there are 156 taxing authorities with their hands out. No, you did not read it wrong. 156.

While the leftists clearly will try to stifle any serious tax reform, the left cannot be routed and sent fleeing to the far hills unless you and I stand up against their votes for confiscatory taxation. We can’t remain silent the next time a county commissioner or legislator proposes another tax, and the rumor is that most Florida counties will be seeking an increase this year in property taxes. Again.

You can help: Make any politician pay a price who persists in backing the tax system’s constant claims on people’s money. If we don’t insist on accountability, it will never end. It will get worse.

Well, what about it? The next time you see your favorite elected officials, do you have the courage to tell them you won’t help in their next campaign if they vote for more taxes?

John R. Smith

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

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