Let Me Know -- What Are Some People So Afraid of Taxes?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bobber205, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    I don't get it. I pay taxes like everyone else. But alot of my friends and peers get SO upset about taxes at all. One of them even said it was akin to stealing.

    When you go to a restaurant you pay foer your food. When you live in a civilized society you pay taxes... :(

    What's the big deal?
  2. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    To be fair, many people feel that our tax dollars are spent poorly. And in some cases they're right. Our failure as a society at this particular moment is our lack of interest in holding our elected officials accountable for their actions. We just look the other way or figure there's nothing we can do. If more of the country voted, I bet we'd see this change rapidly and perhaps then, paying taxes wouldn't seem so bad.
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    It's a tragedy of the commons. Almost everyone wants taxes paid, almost no one is individually excited about paying them.
  4. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    You are all over this one, Lee! ;) I do not like paying taxes, but it does not upset me much either. Yet, as you say, I hate to see my 'hard-earned', squandered, or not being used intelligently. For example, I would gladly support a tax increase to pay-down the national debt. However, I would also insist on serious budget cuts to go along with that.

    Many Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. I definitely would not punish them by making their lives more difficult. Those of us making 6 figures (or more), can afford to pick-up the slack. Unfortunately, the greedy element in our society, does not see it that way. It is all about them. :mad:
  5. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I don't use half the services I pay for, and the ones I do are substandard.

    Also, since I'm "rich" (you'd be surprised how little I make) I have to take a 10% extra hit because "I can afford to." I also get to pay to put other people's kids in school when I don't place that burden on the system - where's my tax break for not being an extra burden on the system?

    Sales tax, income tax, gas tax, capital gains tax, property tax... you do realize how much they actually take from you when it's all said, right?

    Taxes are BS. When they become fair across the board let's talk.

    Christ, don't get me started...
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    I believe the general consensus isn't against paying taxes, it's seeing the money wasted. The problem is that everyone has a different idea of what is wasting their money.
  7. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Oh...somebody's cranky today! :) Honestly, you see no benefit to paying for education for all? Are you kidding? Gee Gary, how do you feel about the police and fire departments? (stands back, watches iGary's head explode :))

    And really sir, you'd be surprised at how little I make. But that doesn't make me mad about taxes, it makes me mad at corporate America.
  8. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    Think of it as containment for the little monsters. Do you really want roving bands of teenagers marauding the streets? You're getting a benefit by having them in school.
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I have no problem with taxes. I have a problem with how they're spent.
  10. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    Let's see, everyone has a gun, they're not afraid to use them, we have a large border with Mexico, and we elected W. governor giving him a spring board to run for president... oh you said taxes...

    If you want accountability in government I can think of a few changes that would get voters involved and probably have a relatively large impact.

    1) Have the treasury department send out a receipt every year itemized by department showing how much of your taxes go to each department, provide a link to the department's page where you can enter your dollar amount and it will calculate out how much of your tax dollars go to each program/study with a link of what the program/study is trying to accomplish. If it's easy enough to click through people will start to wonder why $1.65 of the $15,000 they gave to the U.S. government went to some study of the flow rate of catsup or other nonsensical program.

    2) Force legislation to be single issue. Eliminate the riders. The only bill that should have the riders is the federal budget. There's no reason a supplemental request for funding the troops in Iraq or new G.I. Bill should have any other pet projects tacked on. If you can't get it to pass on it's own merit it probably shouldn't be funded by the general tax payer.

    3) Educate high school students on finances. Show them how much that 18% interest rate will cost them on the credit card. Show them how the zero interest scams accrue and how much they will cost if you miss the deadline or don't follow the rules properly. Be sure to address the different loopholes employed. In the same class also show them how to properly due their taxes and how much more money they can have if they actually pay in a small amount rather than getting the rebate check every year. If you have #1 implemented then having people understanding that the best situation is actually paying in a small amount they might pay attention to the receipt and trace their funds and start raising hell.

    We all get pissed off when we find out about wasteful programs but at this point they're hard to find and we almost have to rely on others to do much of the dirty work. If most taxpayers did just a small bit of research on their money we'd probably be hearing of a new waste of money every few days, and they'll be found even faster as more internet savvy people retire and have nothing better to do.
  11. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
  12. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar

    Though the very wealthy typically pay less as a percentage.
  13. Agathon macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2004
    Taxation has nothing to do with fairness. Indeed, it is as absurd to describe the ideal tax rates as "fair" as it would be to organize salaries in a capitalist economy by rules of fairness.

    The right wingers who argue that really rich people should pay no tax to stimulate them to produce more have a better understanding of tax rates than the clowns who argue for flat taxes or fair taxes. I happen to disagree with them that not taxing the rich would be better, but their underlying reasons are the correct ones.
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    That really is a pretty myopic point of view. If everything from education to the fire department to paving the street outside your residence was 'pay-for-play' prices would be so extraordinarily high that almost all of us would be uneducated and living in tin shacks (tin doesn't burn) on dirt roads. As a collective we can afford things that would normally be unaffordable. Just look at medical insurance. Group coverage is cheaper than individual coverage which is cheaper than no coverage. I don't plan on having kids but I don't mind my tax money going to public schools because, in the big picture, that benefits everyone including me. I know a number of people that pay more in taxes than I make and when they start b*tching I'm just like, really? I keep offering to swap paychecks w/them but for some reason no one has taken me up on it.:D

    Not to sound preachy, but there are millions of people all over the world that would gladly trade places with us and accept the burden of taxes in exchange for the everyday luxuries we commonly take for granted in first world nations (reliable electricity, ample food, clean water, in door plumbing, computers, cell phones, the internet, TV, etc.,) so I see it as a rather petty thing to get all bent out of shape about. The only thing that really gets my goat w/regard to taxes is the wasteful way so much of it is spent.

  15. Aea macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    This is the same problem I have. There is a level of increasing incompetency as we move across from City to State to Federal in terms of considering the budget to be disposable, and concerns only begin to arise when you're spending more then you have. What's the national debt again?

    $260Bn just paid in INTEREST.

    $660Bn for the Military

    Over a trillion spent on Medicare and Social Security, a program that's nothing more then a pyramid scheme and is inefficient as hell.
  16. és: macrumors 6502a


    No tax, no civilisation.

    I want higher taxes for the extremely rich and lower taxes for the extremely poor. Why we continue to let the top 2% hold 80% of the wealth, when it's not in most of our interest, I'll never know.

    Why many Americans are happy to see their country spending the most, by a huge margin, on healthcare but having 44 million people not covered and having a system that is ranked around 42nd in the world just because they 'don't want to pay for other people'. All whilst insurance and drug companies make record profits. I'll never know.

    Why a society allows some people to sit at home with $20b in their bank whilst others have to work 2 jobs just to feed their kids or pay for their education. We wouldn't let a guest in our home go hungry whilst we sat and ate a luxury meal, so why do it on a much grander scale.
  17. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    I do understand what the OP is talking about. There is a certain core of right-wingers who just hate taxes and view them as the government "stealing" from you.

    There was a classic segment of Michael Moore's old show TV Nation in which Moore went down to Newt Gingrich country and asked people their opinions about taxes. Almost to a man they displayed this 'tude about taxes being legalized "theft" and talking about how the government can't do anything right with the taxes it levies.

    Then he went to places like libraries and freeway entrances with a bullhorn and started shouting, "Do not use these facilities!! They are financed by tax money!!" People looked at him like he was nuts.

    Of course, he wasn't nuts, he knew exactly what he was doing. That was a pretty eloquent depiction, though, of how some people are. They want national defense, they want roads and schools, they want to be able to use libraries, but they don't want to have to pay for them.

    BTW, I also agree with és:'s post above.
  18. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    If it's federal income tax we're talking about, I'd like a flat tax of 7-10% or something similar to a "FairTax" style system.

    What he said.

    They pick up the slack by spending their money. No need to take more of the income in taxes.
  19. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    My car has been broken into twice this year in my town.

    The last time our fire alarm went off it was 15 minutes before they came to our office.

    Great service I get for my money there.

    You have a point, but I still don't know why I have to pay for it.

    Create more taxpayers - get rewarded by the government.


    I think everyone should pay the same - why not?

    Sounds to me like a lot of people are willing to accept sub par services for their hard earned money.

    I'm not. I work my ass off for my money and expect decent services for it.
  20. és: macrumors 6502a


    Thanks, I agree with your take on Michael Moore, too. I've not seen it myself by it's typical of what he'd do.
  21. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    We're saying the same thing iGary. But the answer is accountability, not necessarily no taxes. That's our fault, because we don't demand it.
  22. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    I don't ask this rhetorically; if you were the decision maker, so to speak, where would you draw the line on how much money a person can keep? To use your example, if someone has accumulated $20 billion, how much do you think they should be entitled to keep? Do you support a cap on how much someone can earn?

    Just curious. Thanks.
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I don't mind paying taxes, it is just the percentage that I mind. Like many, I recognize that they are necessary, but what is the the most that the government should be able to take?
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Taxes are inanimate. How can you be "afraid" of them??

    Hate them, sure, absolutely.

    The more you pay, the more you are a vassal of the State.
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    The biggest problem is that the majority of all voters have imposed the need for these taxes. They/we have voted to have public services of one sort or another, and we gotta pay for them.

    To me, an oddity in all this is the hoo-hah about the federal income tax, and for most people it's among the lesser amounts of taxation. State and local taxes are a higher percentage of one's income.

    I did a numbers-game thing in the middle 1990s, figuring my old job at the then-current pay scale of about $50K and assumed a wife and two kids. Roughly, there was FICA at 7.65%, income tax around 13% and state/local taxes/fees of some 28%. Federal gasoline tax, of course, and some of the hidden federal excise taxes--although this latter group is rather small.

    es, ya oughta quit being jealous of the wealthy. Envy is not a sign of good mental health. And it's one of those minor sins, in there with sloth and gluttony...


Share This Page