Did you file your taxes? Getting a refund or do you owe? A total of 46.9% of households paid NO income tax in 2009. That compares to 40.3% in 2004, 39.1% in 2005, 37.3% in 2006, 37.9% in 2007, 48.5% in 2008.

Taxes are somewhat intangible. It’s not like you go to a tax store and visibly see what you get in return. For instance, if I walked into a tax store and they asked me if I wanted a road that will take me to where I work, I would say yes and pay for it. If they asked me if I wanted to pay for research of why Peruvian dart frogs like to mate when the moon is full, I would say no. If they wanted to sell me services for poor crazy people so that crazy people don’t roam my neighborhood I would most likely say yes. As much as I enjoy the antics of crazy people I don’t know if they are capable of not doing something crazy that will affect me in a bad way. And if I wanted a refund on my tax dollars spent on a crooked politician, I wouldn’t want them put back on the shelf for resale.

There are some people that don’t want to pay anything in taxes. For those folks I say we take away everything that taxes paid for and see if they feel the same. If their house catches fire, they better hope it’s raining because they didn’t fund the fire department. The poor crazy person decided to live in the non-taxpayers shed now because they don’t have a safety net because jobless benefits and social help were taken away when the recession hit and they’re free to live there because there is no police department to call to take care of these issues. And the crazy person shot him when he tried to get him out of his shed because without a police department the crazy person doesn’t care what he does. There are no courts too once criminals are caught so that means you have to get them to see if Judge Wapner or Judge Judy will take the case, but since there are no taxpayer paid jails it is all for show.

There are some that don’t question what they are paying in taxes. For them I say we charge them for research on having crazy people train Peruvian dart frogs to drive. And since dart frogs need to be entertained before getting trained, the taxpayers should pay for them to be taken to Cedar Point or Six Flags. The all-accepting taxpayer’s is happy to pay their share without any checks and balances or questioning of those in charge of taxing or the taxes themselves. But putting all your trust into the system is like chewing gum you found underneath a desk…it’s just not right.

To understand the fairness of the tax system you have to know what progressive and regressive taxes are. Regressive taxes tend to help the poor while Progressive taxes tend to help the rich. Progressive taxes tax higher as income goes up. With Regressive taxes a tax lowers in percentage as the incomes goes down. For instance, if a rich person pay 7 cents in tax for a pack of gum, they are paying less in tax as a percentage of their income than that of a poor person – that’s called a regressive tax. Hence, taxes that increase as your income grows is supposed to balance those issues. A progressive tax would be an income tax that taxes people with a low income at a lower rate, say 15%, than that of a rich person, say 35%. Fees like a $150 charge for a speeding ticket are also regressive in nature. In essence all the progressive and regressive taxes should balance out in the end. In Switzerland and Finland speeding tickets are tied to your income – just like a progressive tax.

Why should the rich pay more in taxes when they earned it? Why should we spread the wealth? Greed for one reason. You can see what greed did when the banks decided to take advantage of poor oversight. When greedy people aren’t satisfied with what they have they will do all they can for that extra buck even sometimes if it means doing the wrong thing. Did Bernie Madoff earn his millions? Greed and using money as power can corrupt. Doing what is right balances those issues, but some people have a poor moral compass. Here are some other reasons:

Some verses from Proverbs:
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich – both come to poverty.
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.

Also, in Proverbs it also tries to keep those with less means in line too:
Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
He who loves pleasure will become poor, whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.

There is even a passage about taxes in the Bible. In Genesis (chapter 47, verse 24 – the New International Version), it states “But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.” Joseph was telling the people of Egypt how to divide their crop, providing a portion to the Pharaoh. A share (20%) of the crop was the tax.

One thing to be aware of – some vocal critics that don’t like to be taxed may be in debt themselves and there are rich people trying to sway public opinion that will lessen their own tax burden. Just because someone shouts out their feelings, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do and it doesn’t mean they are telling the truth.

You’ve probably heard a lot about flat taxes. Many deductions would be eliminated with a flat tax. What that does for the most part is lessen taxes for the rich and increase it for the poor. Same principal with the tax on the pack of gum. If we all pay the same tax, the rich pay a smaller percentage of their income than that of a poor person. Sure a flat tax is simple, but it’s not always fair. And again, the folks barking about it the most in the media are the ones that are rich themselves. They want to sway public opinion so that they aren’t taxed more. There is always an agenda when it comes to money. Interestingly, there are some billionaires like Warren Buffet that said they wanted to be taxed more. They felt they made too much money and wanted to better the financial situation in the U.S.
What countries have flat taxes? Most flat tax countries are made up of communist or former-communist countries. Russia and many former Eastern bloc nations have a flat tax. Check them out and more about flat taxes here:

Taxes need to be for the right things and at the right amounts. And just like any consumer, governments must also belt-tighten dollars spent when monies are not available. Not easy to do when some programs and services are essential. California and New Jersey are two states needing to cut back a lot and won’t make some people happy with the cuts they are proposing. I’d also like not to be taxed at all, but I know that isn’t feasible. I’m ok with giving 20% to the Pharaoh. After all, how else is he going to pay the tip on his beer tab.


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