There’s a lot of tea going around today … people with their mini “tea party” protests. It’s good that people are getting tired of the way government continues to grow, slowly weaving its way into parts of their lives that it probably shouldn’t be in. I just hope today’s public demonstrations actually get people thinking about how to really fix government.
My personal belief is that tax policy defines almost every aspect of government … local, state and federal. Taxes are behind the way we handle the environment, welfare, education and even that pesky “traditional marriage” junk. It can explain a lot of how the government tries to manipulate behavior … making tax breaks for one type of food/crop/car/house while adding penalties to another.
The system is complex, messy and horribly broken.
I can start spouting numbers, like the fact 80% of Americans pay 99.2% of taxes, and the top 1% of wage earners (like the guy who owns my company) make 19% of the income in the US but pay 39% of the individual taxes.
I’d love to go protest or something, but I’ve got to feed the machine.
The top fifth of households made 56% of pre-tax income in 2006 but paid 86% of all individual income tax revenue collected, according to the most recent data available from the Congressional Budget Office.
People run on food, governments run on money. If you have less food to eat you change your eating habits, and governments work the same way.
Lots of people want to change spending by the people they elect to office. We’ve seen both parties have control of Congress, and both sides have upped spending when they have the majority. It’s easy for them to do because the money is out of our pockets before they even have the first clue how they’re going to use it … and it’s almost to the point where more than half of citizens have no tax liability.
If you’re reading this after tossing tea outside of a government building, I hope you understand that more work has to be done. There’s more to this change stuff than one day of waving posters, or assuming the same system that got us into this spending mess will get us out.
You want to elect one person to change the world, then look in the mirror.
You want reduced spending … stop expecting the government to fix all of your problems. Don’t expect the government to endorse your faith, charity or pet project … go fix that stuff yourself.
Laws, like kitchen knives, cost money. Most of only really need two or three good knives to make a meal, the rest just take up space in the drawer and get in the way. Just get the basics, melt the rest for scrap … the rest of the money you save can be spent on better food, which you can share if you like.
So don’t look for the politician who will just cut your taxes, or change spending on your key projects … the whole thing’s gotta change. That’s hard, and unpopular and more than just one day’s work tossing tea.