On any given day, I’ll get up in the morning, put on coffee that I bought at the store (paying sales tax, of course, as well as corporate taxes and tariffs built into the price). As I putter around the house (the property which is taxed on state and local levels) getting ready, showering (fees and taxes apply on water, sewer and electricity), using numerous items taxed at sale and elsewhere, I’m finally done.
I’ll hop into the car (which I pay taxes on yearly, as well taxes and surcharges as at the sale) and drive (only if I’ve paid the license fee) to the gas station to fill up (paying federal, state and local gasoline taxes, possibly luxury and gas-guzzler taxes, fuel gross receipts tax, and oil and gas assessment taxes).
Depending on the roadwork in the area, I could be paying special assessments for road repairs or taxes for waste management, bridge toll charges, road toll charges, or bike license fees.
When I head to a business, either mine or someone else’s, the taxes could include individual and small business surtaxes, penalties for underpayment of estimated income tax, an alternative minimum tax on income, business taxes and licensing fees, and federal and state corporate income taxes.
Of course, if it’s my business, I’m passing those costs along to the consumer, or if it’s not, the owners are passing that along, so pretty much every tax faced by a business is paid by everybody that makes use of that business.
My paycheck will have federal income tax (sometimes state and local, depending on location), Social Security tax and Medicare tax
If someone from out of state purchases something, they’ll likely pay use taxes.
If I want to take a vacation, I could face paying recreational vehicle taxes, passport fees, air transportation taxes, hotel stay taxes, hunting or fishing license fees, state park permits, watercraft registration and license fees, nature trail permit fees or even yacht and luxury boat taxes.
If I get hurt on vacation, there’s the possibility that on top of medical bills, there’s plastic surgery surcharges or taxes on non-qualified health saving account distributions.
Pets, particularly dogs, require permits and licenses. Jewelry has specific taxes; so do cigarettes (taxed through the roof), alcohol and gifts. Have to pay fees to get married, or if you’re in an area with a pro sports team, stadium taxes (don’t get the large soda and devil dog, or pay taxes on fatty foods and pop).
To own a phone, there’s 911 service taxes, service fees, minimum usage fees, federal, state and local taxes, and usage surcharges.
If I pass away, anything my family inherits is subject to taxes. Lots of taxes.
The Inflation Reduction Act recently passed by the Senate includes more taxes on corporations, “investments” in energy security and climate change, an extension of the subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, and, just for that little bit of icing, 87,000 new IRS agents (with all the trimmings). That all comes from new and better taxes.
On any given day, the average citizen of the country pays more than 100 different types of taxes, and the trend is that the government always needs more.
One of my favorite TV shows in the past decade was “Sleepy Hollow,” dealing with a man from the Revolutionary War being drug into the current era. It was about supernatural events, but hidden there was social commentary.
One quote that had stuck with me was (after the main character bought a cup of coffee and a doughnut), “What’s insane is a 10 percent levy on baked goods. You do realize the Revolutionary War began on less than 2 percent? How is the public not flocking to the streets in outrage? We must do something.”
I appreciate that, because I’ve always wondered what the Founding Fathers would say if they were alive at this time.
There are solutions, most of which are at the ballot box, but my guess is that we are the frogs in the old adage, and the pot is boiling. We just don’t notice because the heat was turned up very slow.