Why taxes are the American mystery

Patriotism runs deep through my family. Three generations of men have sacrificed for this country, including my brother during this current Iraq war. What I have to say about what I see in America today is not a slam against the country, but a sober observation.

Experts on Nothing:

Working in a industry that contacts Directors of Finance, HR, and Payroll I have seen a serious lack of understanding for the most basic tax concepts. I work with all sizes of companies from less than a dozen employees to thousands; and from one location to nation-wide. Throughout my day, I am solving issue after issue that stem from a serious ignorance about taxes. The most recent was a director of HR from a medium sized company calling to ask about tax rates. She asked “so, does the rate for your income tax increase with the amount of money you make?” Stunned, I checked to make sure I understood the question. She had no idea that Federal Income tax is based on a sliding scale according to marital status, exemptions, and earnings per period! For those of us who work in this industry, these are essential facts ( and should be for all tax payers); and for her to be in charge of hundreds of thousands of dollars of payroll made me ill to my stomach. I wish this were the exception. However, this is the rule.

How can we as a nation understand our taxes, and hence our own wages and worth if those who are “experts” don’t even know. Ask anyone on the street today, “how much to you make?” and if they don’t punch your lights out, they will say “I take home X.” More than half of those I ask, have no clue that each entity has it’s own tax rate. Even before I was in the industry, I could tell you how much my city, county, state, and federal tax rate should be on my pay. Maybe it was because I had to know to the penny in order to make rent, car payments, and pay for child-care.

Taxation without representation:

For whatever reason, we as a nation have stopped caring about what we are loosing in taxes and started focusing on what we have AFTER the governments are done with us. We only care about refunds, not why they take too much to begin with. It is time to wake up! It is time to get upset! It is time to tell your representative that enough is enough! Our forefathers were plagued by taxes. They felt their needs were not being represented and thus they had no control over their own destinies. We are being taxed, we are not being represented, we are in control because we have a nation of laws that give sovereignty back to the people. Please, learn about your taxes. Please get a copy (which is provided free through the freedom of information act) of the Circular-E that gives you how much your taxes will be each year. How can we control something we know nothing about? Make it your personal mission to be able to know, your actual income, your taxable wage, and your withholding status.

Just think of it this way. If you don’t how much they take, how will you know how much they spend?

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