I have been thinking about taxes this week. Wait, I guess I should clarify, using the word "thinking" makes it sound very casual, so I probably should say I have been "obsessing" about taxes this week. I have never obsessed about taxes before. But I guess it would be only natural that after a year of living in "Taxachusetts" I would start to notice taxes and their impact on me. I did not notice taxes in Indiana or Kansas. But in Massachusetts you can not ignore them they affect your little old life so immensely. They teach you about the word bitter and what it means :)
But of course there are some other factors that have added to my new obsession with taxes. The first being the paper route, you see I help the kids deliver their papers and while I am sitting in the car waiting for them I keep myself occupied by reading the front page of the ever so small, and quaint Westfield Evening News and more, and more, and more,.....and more, I have noticed a lot of articles about money and how the government needs a whole bunch more of it and how much the poor, deprived government is suffering. I read the words, "budget cuts", "programs cut", " jobs cut" and of the agony and woe of it all. And then for some reason the word "raise" sneaks on the front page along with the word "cut." A crisis/cut for them and a raise/tax for me?
The second thing that added to my recent tax interest happened this last week when the kids were home for February break and I found myself in my car in the middle of the day driving them to and fro. And I got tired of listening to Beyonce sing All The Single Ladies over and over and I got tired of the kids fighting over radio stations and so I decided that I had to do something and talk radio was the answer. But that darn talk radio started to educate me, I did not want to know what was happening in the world. I was happy in my little world of ignorance. I did not want to know how bad it really was but it is too late. I should have not driven anyone anywhere last week.
Now I know about the gas tax going up. Now I know about taxing candy and pop. Now I know about states that are not in debt paying taxes to help states who spent too much money and are in debt.
So tonight I decided I needed to read all about taxes. I mean you all know why we have taxes right? Taxes provide funds for our government, funds so they can pay for war, funds so they can enforce law and public order, funds to keep up our infrastructure, education, unemployment etc.
So I guess it would make sense to everyone that if we have a lot of those kinds of things that the government pays for then we would have a pretty big government that would probably need a lot of taxes from us to keep going. :) I keep wondering why no one seems bothered by this? Why does everyone seem to just take their lumps and not complain? What happened to the Boston Tea Party type attitude? I guess we want someone to take care of us too much to fight against the rising taxes.
So just to bore you some more on this Monday morning I found information about the 4 'R's which are the four main purposes of effects of taxes:
Revenue.....taxes raise money to spend on things. I wish I could tax someone and get in on this very cool deal.
Redistribution....so after you get the money it is supposed to be transferred from the rich to the poor. Did you know that the extent to which this should happen and if it should happen at all is very controversial? Just wondered if you had noticed :)
Repricing.....I am not sure if I understand this purpose of taxing very well but let me try to give you an example...you see, this is why tobacco is taxed, to discourage smoking, and why some people want a carbon tax. It involves words like levies and externalities that I am still reading about and have yet been able to talk about intelligently. Once those words start coming up on Dora or Sponge Bob I am sure I will get it :)
Representation....our slogan in Revolutionary times used to be, "no taxation without representation" and that implied that our "rulers" taxed us and we demanded accountability. How do we demand accountability? I do not even know where to start. The government is so big how could anyone keep track of where our taxes are going?
Alright, I am done with my obsessing and rambling. See you tomorrow.