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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14134/tax-receipt-fascinating/

Tax Receipt: Fascinating

October 2, 2010 by

From ThirdWay via NPR


Seattle October 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

The DEA is only getting $3.14! No wonder the drug war hasn’t been won yet!

Bruce Koerber October 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Why not a line item veto for the citizens? I could easily make choices, and so could everyone, that would make the ego-driven interventionists cut expenditures.

HL October 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm


Dave Albin October 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm

What!!! Let us decide what to do with our money? How horrific!

Mac October 3, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Is it just me or does the list not add up to $5,400?

There’s about $2,000 I’d ;ove to see accounted for…

And these are only Federal taxes?

Franklin October 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Nicely stated.
Big wonder that ThirdWay is selective in its itemization and ambiguous in its taxonomy.

Horst Muhlmann October 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

What? An organization whose very domain name is a euphemism for fascism, lie and manipulate data to push its agenda? That’s unpossible!

Clayton G October 4, 2010 at 12:37 am

There are more many programs that tax dollars are allocated for. This list is just a select few.

Dustin Jussila October 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

And to think, the $0.19 for the salaries of congressmen and women allow the rest of the $5399.81 to exist.

Dave Albin October 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm


Bruce Koerber October 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Very good point! If those who represented us did it because they wanted to be of service and so they volunteered their services, and they were selected because of their nobility and virtues it would be certain that they would be opposed to theft and fraud and counterfeiting and war. In a society like that the ignorance of socialism would quickly fall by the wayside which means that most of the reasons for taxes will vanish once leaders are chosen because they are statesmen.

Dale Williams October 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Bruce, you are correct on all counts. Undoubtedly, there are many nobles who could lead the efforts to expose the fraud that is constantly perpetuated on the American people by the career politicians in Washington. But it is because the constituents continue to re-elect them that we have career politicians in the first place. Far too many of us vote for a representative to go to Washington to send us stuff, be that whatever, it’s all about getting our fair share…. We need to limit the terms, limit the perks, and seriously need to limit the control of the centralized government. The first way to do that is to clean both houses and help educate the electorate on how our corrupt tax code is bankrupting America. We need to implement the consumption tax theory known as FAIR TAX and it’s companion constitutional amendment that eliminates the federal income tax. Although this alone will do nothing to shrink the size of government spending it will seriously limit special interest and lobbyist influence in our capitol.

Ohhh Henry October 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

This shows why I think Ron Paul’s campaigning is a bit of a distraction from reality. He said in his last presidential campaign that the US should end its foreign wars because that would free up money for things like SS and medicare. But look at the numbers, the foreign wars would barely scratch the surface of the welfare beast. He could have just as easily said let’s cancel SS so we can fight more wars. It would make just as much sense to say so – i.e. ZERO sense. All of these spending items, and many more, are fiscal cancers.

But think of the reaction if he actually said that the federal government is an out-of-control monster, and that congress would have to cut their spending by at least 90 percent to restore America to anything like the conditions of its greatest period of economic growth. They’re already dismissing him as a dangerous kook for talking about cuts that would amount to maybe less than 10 percent. It’s hopeless to send him on Fox or MSNBC or whatever thinking that these media could possibly carry a message of commonsense and prudence. They’re not even capable of voicing the milquetoast liberalism of Adam Smith, for crying out loud, let alone Bastiat, Mises or Rothbard.

Dave Albin October 3, 2010 at 9:38 am

It is a lot scary that when anyone talks about “cuts”, or actual spending cuts, that amount to essentially nothing, that all the Chicken Little’s come out.

Christopher October 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

Well, think about all those military personnel who would be redeployed into the economy.

David Bratton October 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I see combat operation, military personnel costs, veterans benefits, and military retirement expenses. Where is the line item for aircraft carriers, planes, tanks, and so on?

Ohhh Henry October 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Errrrmmmm … under “foreign aid” ?

Which reminds of a crack that was attributed to A. Whitney Brown in the First Iraq War:

Of course they’re smart bombs – they got all the education money!

(a typical bogus left-right branding hoax, but still funny)

J. Murray October 3, 2010 at 7:51 am

Military spending on acquisitions has fallen out of favor. The problem with extended overseas operations is that most of the available resources are utilized for those combat operations which removes the ability to procure newer equipment.

Ned Netterville October 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hey, we get the DEA for only $3.14 each a year. Just think, that is less than .0000001 cents each per day for each head that a Mexican drug cartel cuts off a perceived competitor or detractor in order to control marijuana sales to US teenagers, who can now, after 40 years of DEA’s War on Drugs, buy pot or meth or coke in school or out day in and day out. Congratulations, DEA, you’re doing a such swell job, although those thousands of Mexican corpses without heads on their torsos may not agree.

Joshua Park October 2, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Of course, these are the seen costs.

My guess is that they’re inaccurate, too. Since the federal government is runs a deficit, there should be a “Grand Total” that’s greater than the $5,400.

Walt D. October 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

I think you are right. What about things like TARP, Stimulus Package, Unemployment Insurance Payments to States, GM Bailout and all the other “Off Balance Sheet” items? Also what about the other 7.8% FICA paid for by the employer?

Artisan October 3, 2010 at 3:07 am

15% Tax…? Is that real? We re paying a lot more than that in Germany for the same kind of income… more like 45% plus VAT though I must admit vacations are longer.

Fred Furash October 3, 2010 at 4:41 am

Those are just federal taxes. State and local taxes would I think usually exceed federal taxes. And then of course there’s VAT, and other taxes that aren’t levied in a direct and obvious manner.

Artisan October 3, 2010 at 10:31 am

Do you have any source for assessing the total amount then?

Sean W. Malone October 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Sure… You’d just have to go state by state… So there’d be 50 different results in the US… It’s not that hard of information to track down, but it’s just a pain in the ass and incredibly time-consuming.

Curt Howland October 4, 2010 at 7:19 am

There are 3,300 counties with different tax rates, too.

I have no idea how many towns/cities there are, they charge taxes.

Factor in that the making of anything requires 5 or 6 steps, and pretty much 90% of the cost of anything is taxes.

Price October 3, 2010 at 6:43 am

How about the inflation tax? The loss of purchasing power by the individual that is a gain for the government needs an entry. How about putting in the header portion at least $2,000 to estimate a ~6% loss of purchasing power y-o-y.

J. Murray October 3, 2010 at 7:55 am

The funny thing about military spending is something like 45% of it is buried in other government agencies that don’t have the word Defense in their name. Most of the State Department is to support military operations, such as running foreign military purchases and manage military base negotiations and payments to foreign governments. 1/3 of the FBI budget is for overseas base counter-terror activities. These are just two examples. Military spending absorbs an immense amount of our annual budget above and beyond the DoD line item, though still not quite on the level of wealth redistribution programs.

Ohhh Henry October 3, 2010 at 10:40 am

Military spending absorbs an immense amount of our annual budget above and beyond the DoD line item, though still not quite on the level of wealth redistribution programs.

When you get right down to it however the military *is* another wealth redistribution program. All those salaries and benefits for government employees, the military contracts, and the sweetheart deals for arms, oil, minerals, development aid, etc. with client states which are the ultimate purpose of the aggressive military actions.

There is also a factor of aggression against the domestic population … the military represents a threat against them if they were ever to reject the welfare state. You can see this threat becoming more overt as military units are deployed domestically for things like random drunk driving roadblocks, crowd control at international conferences, etc.

My own belief is that paper money and overwhelming military force go hand in hand. A fiat currency regime needs a huge and aggressive military in order to make people accept its paper, and a huge army needs a central bank to write its checks and disguise its destruction of wealth for as long as possible.

Franklin October 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm

“… the military *is* another wealth redistribution program…”
Precisely. Standing O for Ohhh.

Nathan October 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Libertarian translation of the biggest 7 items:

1-3: Money stolen and given to other people in the hope that when you’re old, there will be enough productive young people left for you to steal from and recoup some of your loss.

5-7: Killing foreigners

4: Extra money the government borrows, because it just can’t make ends meet with the meager trillions of dollars it rakes in every year.

og October 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

This is inaccurate. 2/3 of every tax dollars go to support defense. There are 13000+ nuclear warheads to service (Dept of Energy), there are billions in loans taken out annually for Pentagon play to service, there are overt and covert expenditures for the CIA and other “intelligence” agencies (for covert think National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute), there are “emergency” war funding bills not counted into anyone’s totals. The Pentagon annually rakes in over $500 billion tax dollars minus all that listed above, and their budget grows faster than inflation. It should be noted that not all their takings are tax dollars, much of it is “borrowed” through sale of T-bills to China.

All that and they can’t win a war? If only…the never-ending war on terror was made to justify all that.

og October 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm

And Nathan…wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have social security? Libertarians regularly show how retarded they are by not considering the fact that we live in wage slavery. When the slaves get too old or sick to work, you wouldn’t kill them outright but would happily shove them off to die anywhere you didn’t have to see it.

Richie October 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm


AV October 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

If you live in “wage slavery” then, instead of pissing and moaning, why don’t you do something about it? And if Federally mandated SS did not exist, you mean to say you’d not save and plan for your future?!! What are you, retarded or something?

Slim934 October 4, 2010 at 7:07 am

Ah the wage slavery canard. It is not totally inaccurate given how hard it is to start a productive enterprise for one’s self nowadays. But there will always be simple wage earners for the reason that it will be more productive than having everyone act as owner/operators. The line of reasoning that nobody would be a “wage slave” or that working for a wage is somehow bad is what is retarded. After all, if there were no one to do the trucking or run machine tools or fly aircraft or any of the myriad wage earning roles then we would all be infinitely poorer as a result.

And yes, it WOULD be great if we did not have social security. Right not, 12% of our money goes to fueling transfer payments whereas if we chose to keep it we could either A) spend it on things we want or B) invest it and actual make society more productive and earn a decent rate of return.

Speaking of rates of return, mises.org linked to a story recently showing the respective rates of return for people in social security as of right now. If you are middle aged it is roughly 2%, for the generation behind them it is 1%, and for MY generation (early 20s) the rate is 0%. It is undeniably true that had social security never been implemented then people could have saved that money and gotten in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the rate of return in even a conservative investment vehicle. This would be true whether one is an owner/operator or a “wage slave”.

The only thing that strikes me as retarded is that our parents and grandparents allowed this abominable system to persist to this day and that I am going to have to pay for it. They obviously lied to me when they said they gave a shit about my future. They cared only that I would be alive for them so suck me dry.

Linda October 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Ummmmm……there’s a $50,000 reward for anyone who can prove that the regular wage earner has to pay income tax. Social security – ditto …FICA federal insurance CONTRIBUTION Act – Voluntary.

Horst Muhlmann October 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

If you don’t pay, men with guns will take your stuff away and throw you in a cage.

Where can I collect my $50,000?

Linda October 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Ummmmmm….there is a $50,000 reward to anyone who can prove that we have to pay income tax. “Show me the law!” Ditto…social security tax as in FICA federal insurance CONTRIBUTION Act. Contribution means voluntary. It’s linguistics. We’ve lost communication here on the West coast. A bazillion people have DNA/cell phones at their ear – that’s just talking, not communicating.

Linda October 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Perhaps Tax labeled Accounts Receivable, Attorney/lawyer license to practice code enforcement, not law, Building permits, Cigarette, Court fines, Dog license, Driver’s permit & license, Fishing license, Fines, Food license, Forfeiture, Fuel permit, Gasoline (53.7 per gal. in CA. INC.), Hunting license, Interest, Inventory, Levies, Liquor, Marriage license, Parking meters, Physician license to practice genocide not health, Property/real estate, Registration–autos, R.V.s, trailers,& watercraft, Sales, Septic permit, Service charge, Telephone– minimum usage, recurring & non-recurring, excise, universal etc., Toll bridge, Traffic citations, Transaction fees, Utility, Vehicle sales (including used vehicle sales), Well permit, and Worker’s Comp. is causing the confusion. As Peace Officers changed their label in 1956 to Law Enforcement. Really!! I’d say Tax Code Enforcement is the true label. It’s linguistics. Green, Smart, Transparent and Create jobs —b.s. Like ‘Public Appearance’ at a Council or Supervisors meeting. ‘Appearance’ is just stand there and say nothing. ‘Telephone’ someone requires a telephone. To ‘call’ someone, doesn’t (require a telephone). We’re submerged in a political language that changes the meaning/definition of the words DAILY.

Ha! October 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

The fourth one down, intrest on the debt, should be number one. If they ever find that they cannot sell enough bonds to roll the debt forward, the dollar will go to zero in less than a year.

See Bennett & DiLorenzo, “Shadow Government.”

Rick October 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Yeah, it won’t be long before it’s number one or two.

So getting real for visitor Og above, who thinks debt and unfunded liabilities/mandates are not a problem but earning a wage is… this list to me say’s “debt slavery” in a national security/police state that has almost a complete disregard for private property rights.

And yeah, there is about $2000 missing from that list and it’s just a federal list. Take a look at your county, city, state, etc., and the list won’t be any more inspiring.

Ed October 5, 2010 at 7:12 am

This analysis conveniently ignores the fact that with nearly 50% of wage earners not paying any Federal Taxes, it is highly unlikely that people earning $34K per year pay anywhere near $5.4K in taxes. All of these numbers should be $0!!

Josh October 5, 2010 at 7:30 am

I make significantly less that $34k per year and I still end up paying federal taxes….

But I agree those numbers should be $0 for EVERYONE

Tony October 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm

This is flawed. You can divide tax revenue and use that percentage to create numbers all you want, but, in effect, ALL of the money goes to the interest on the debt. Everything else is paid for with new loans (including a portion of the interest on the debt). Also, the taxes paid by single persons who earn over $34k are significantly more than $5k. Try $8k. (The 2010 tax bracket for single filers making $34,000.00 is 25%.) Tack on FICA, etc… and the middle class is done.

TaxRefundGuarantee January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I am seriously going to start using all of that! Thank you so much, I am not even kidding! There is nothing that I hate more than coming up with content all the time to barely keep our real estate blog up. It’s just so time consuming – so thanks again!

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