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A Nation of Boiled Frogs
| Craig J. Cantoni
Posted on 11/15/2002 10:51:57 AM PST by hsmomx3
It is said that if a frog is put in a pot of hot water, he will jump out. But if he is put on a stove in a pot of cold water and the temperature is slowly turned up, he will boil to death instead of jumping out. Like the frog, American taxpayers are slowly being boiled to death in taxes but do not realize it.
A Heritage Foundation study shows how much federal spending and taxes have increased over the years. It can be found at:
Consider these alarming statistics from the study. (Figures are expressed in inflation-adjusted dollars.)
- Federal revenue has increased by $1.3 trillion since 1960.
- Federal revenue per taxpayer has increased 55% since 1960.
Feeling warm yet?
- Federal spending has increased almost continuously regardless of which party controlled Congress or the presidency.
- Since 1964, federal spending has increased almost twice as fast as the average price of a new single-family home.
Starting to sweat?
- The federal government now spends $6,000 more per taxpayer than it did in 1960.
- Federal spending per taxpayer is over 50% higher than in the early 1960s.
- Despite leftist rhetoric about the rich escaping taxes, federal taxes have become more progressive. Since 1983, the share of taxes paid by the highest 20% of wage earners has increased by 16%. The share paid by the lowest 20% has decreased by 35%. The top 10% of households in income now pay 66% of federal income tax.
- Federal spending per household is up 80% since 1960.
- The federal government spends almost $300 out of every $1,000 earned by taxpayers.
- Since 1960, federal spending has risen over seven times faster than median income.
Skin turning red?
- Between 1962 and 2000, non-defense discretionary spending increased 188%, while defense spending rose only slightly.
- Since 1962, mandatory spending (mostly entitlements) has increased 680%, or 11 times faster than discretionary spending, for an increase per taxpayer of $7,000.
- In 2000, federal spending per taxpayer was $14,723, and state and local spending was $9,094, for a total of $23,817.
- Since 1960, every administration has operated under budget deficits.
These statistics show why my uneducated grandfather could immigrate here in the early 20th Century, work as a coal miner and yet have enough money left over after taxes to send his three kids to private school. The same is true for my working-class parents, who sent me to a private prep school in 1960.
The statistics suggest a reason why the nation's savings rate has plummeted and why it is necessary for both spouses in middle-class families to work. The statistics also suggest why the majority of citizens do not vote: because both parties buy votes with ever-increasing entitlements.
Anyone for frog legs?
Mr. Cantoni is an author, public speaker and consultant. He can be reached at email@example.com.
TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: govtspending; taxes; taxrates
posted on 11/15/2002 10:51:57 AM PST
Just remember the following: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage".
posted on 11/15/2002 11:01:06 AM PST
Looks like the cycle is about complete.
posted on 11/15/2002 11:06:20 AM PST
Great article, but I wish there was some way to make it real for most taxpayers. The withholding system has created people who don't look at anything on their pay stub but the bottom line.
If you ask them how much tax they paid last year, they will tell you they didn't pay any tax - they got money back. If you ask them how much of their pay went to SS and Medicare you will get a blank stare.
If we are not able to change to a tax system that will force people to pay the tax from their own pocket, this will never stop. That is why withholding is so important to those who want yet more of what we work so hard for.
posted on 11/15/2002 11:11:29 AM PST
To add to all that list, we are prepared to spend the equivalent of $20,000/tax-payer to unseat one dictator! Leaving all the rest of the Arab dictators free. Is that going to start democracy there? Of course not! Is that going to reduce the Islamic terrorism? Of course not!
OK guys, before I get Spammed by hate mail, you think that Saddam may have a nuclear bomb, and may blow it at Time Square, OK? How about the Pakistani "Moslem" bomb, as it was called by all Moslem leaders? How about the N. Korean Bombs?
A better expenditure of our taxpayers dollars is to hire 10,000 Arabic/Persian speaking spies to penetrate all the sleeper cells. Burt noooo, what to heck do I know? Let us spend millions on listening devices? That is better gathering of "CHATTER"?---Not!
That's why they call'm "sheeple."
posted on 11/15/2002 11:14:56 AM PST
The tax statistics tell a part of the story of our loss of freedom and economic independence. Another part of the story regards the amount of intervention and regulation of our lives by government, "We know better than you what you need" by our political leaders. Even the so-called conservatives endorse programs that would have been called extreme socialism in earlier times of our history.
Many of our citizens lack the vision of what freedom means at the personal level, because they have never known any other. Our leaders are thrilled at the prospect of becoming more powerful than our opponents were in WW II. Each new law that is passed takes some more individual freedom and gives some governmental division more power over the citizen.
posted on 11/15/2002 11:32:39 AM PST
Huh? I hadn't heard the bill for the war in Iraq was expected to top $2 trillion . . . Better check your math.
There is only one problem with his logic: name me another democracy that existed before the United States. Our founders invented
modern democracy. Any democracies that have failed have been imperfect copies of our democracy. Greece is often credit as inventing democracy, but they failed and gave up on the idea. You can't look at Rome and it's Emporors. You can't look at Europe and it's monarchy. You can only look at OUR example, have faith, and VOTE.
By posting this quote, you suggest it's all over. Well, you polish the brass. But I still think this country is worth fighting for.
I heard PETA is planning a protest demonstration because of this boiling frogs business.
I dislike taxes as much as anyone, since they inherently discriminate against the middle class. But a precipitous termination of the tax structure in this nation would invite total economic disaster. In order to eliminate any of the oppressive taxes which we are saddled with, we, as a nation, must first find alternatives for funding legimate community help programs and establish a healthy economy that can absorb the gradual reduction of tax income. I believe that this may have been one of President Reagan's long term hopes for this country. However, a man named Clinton set us back to square one.
You are correct, it is one decimal less, $2000/taxpayer.
$200Billion cost devided by 100 million taxpayers?
||| change to a tax system that will force people to pay the tax from their own pocket |||
As stated previously, this payment should be done twice yearly, before the primary and general elections.
Take the taxes out of their paycheck and accrue it in a local "checking" account [which can only be used for tax payments, federal, state and local] and force them to write out the check, sign it and mail it in.
This is my solution (since true tax reform is, for now, unrealistic) having done payroll taxes for years and seeing what small business pony up to the IRS. With direct deposit systems it would not be a complex thing to set up automatically.
posted on 11/15/2002 4:01:40 PM PST
Meant to flag you for post #13 as well =)
posted on 11/15/2002 4:03:04 PM PST
Hard to argue against that cycle.
posted on 11/15/2002 4:53:15 PM PST
I have a feeling that we will see this (the dictatorship stage) happen sooner in Europe, possibly England, than here.
posted on 11/15/2002 4:58:39 PM PST
name me another democracy that existed before the United States.
Funny, I thought our Founding Fathers gave us a Constitutional Republic.
posted on 11/15/2002 7:16:12 PM PST
To add to all that list, we are prepared to spend the equivalent of $20,000/tax-payer to unseat one dictator!
Are you trying to tell me it will cost $3 TRILLION to outst Saddam? I think you are off several orders of magnitude on that one.
$200Billion cost devided by 100 million taxpayers?
THe figure I have seen in the Wall Street Journal was more like $50 Billion.
You said..."There is only one problem with his logic: name me another democracy that existed before the United States. Our founders invented modern democracy. Any democracies that have failed have been imperfect copies of our democracy"
I say-----sorry-----we are not supposed to be a democracy. WE ARE A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC. Please get that into your head. We are not a democracy--or mob rule. WE are a Republic. A constitutional Republic.
That is the problem with today's schools. They teach revisionist history. Thye make you think one thing when it is really something else. It's the language of illusion.
The founding fathers knew that any government is in its nature, going to become tyranical. That is why they gave us a consitituion. The Constitution is set up to put limits on Government. It's not there to allow the people to do anything except put limits on the federal government. The Constitution is not there for some supreme court judge to tell us what WE can or cannot do. It is there for the PEOPLE to tell the government what it can or cannot do.
So when you see the supreme court ruling on matters between individuals.. this is a miscarrage of the justice system. The supreme court is to rule only on what the federal government can or cannot do. Not what we can or cannot do.
I was wondering what is the least taxed State in the nation taking into consideration property taxes, sales tax, and income tax?
Try Google! They have everything! I know that Vermont comes in as the number one MOST taxed state, but I have no idea who wins by coming in as least taxed.
"A Nation of Boiled Frogs"
Oops, sorry, I came here by mistake !
(I thought this was a thread for recipes for French Cannibals.)
posted on 11/16/2002 6:56:58 AM PST
I've been advocating that for a while too.
There's nothing like having significant 1099 income, and having to write a quarterly tax payment check, to make you extremely tax adverse.
...name me another democracy that existed before the United States.
No problema! Athenian democracy. But why would you ask for another to be named when you already knew of one? Greece is often credit as inventing democracy, but they failed and gave up on the idea.
If that democracy didn't exist in the first place then there wouldn't have been a need to give up on democracy. Our founders invented modern democracy.
No, they didn't invent any kind of democracy. Some democratic concepts were incorporated into our form of government, but it is in no fashion a Democracy. Any democracies that have failed have been imperfect copies of our democracy.
There is no way that the ancient democracies
could've failed from being imperfect copies of "our democracy" because our "modern democracy", as you say, hadn't even been "invented" yet?
Cart before the horse? A Political Epiphany
May yours come soon.
Great article, but I wish there was some way to make it real for most taxpayers
The quickest way to "make it real" would be a simple change in the tax law...Dont change the tax rates, dont change a thing...just do away with Employer withholding...and give all of the money to the person who makes it, and make it his responsibility to send the goons their corn every two weeks....
Thats it...that is all you need to do....what precipitates out of that who knows...but tax revolt would be certain...
To: antaresequity; fone
You are both right that a simple change in existing tax law would do what we here all want, which is to make people aware of what they really pay. But the fact that it would be simple does not mean it will ever happen.
But I honestly do not know what it will take to change the method of tax collection from a 3rd party withholding system in light of the fact that those who have benefitted from it so well will never allow even the dialog much less the changes to happen.
They all know that it is this very system that has made the 'boiling frogs' syndrome possible with taxes in this country. Americans would have never tolerated the present size of government with its resulting level of taxation without it. Those who intend to take even more of what we earn in the future will do anything to keep it.
posted on 11/16/2002 8:54:00 AM PST
To: Always Right
We will forgive more than $50 billions worth of loans as bribes for nations to support our drive to invade Iraq. Turkey, Jordon, Syria, Egypt,Pakistan,Yemen...... All of them hate our guts, but it is free money!
BUT THE REPUBLICANS ARE GREAT!!!!!
posted on 11/18/2002 8:41:12 AM PST
You are so right. We should just wait til the bastards detonate a nuke in Dallas or somewhere like that. It is just too much money to spend now........
We are saving the koolaid for Libertarians who think they have all the answers.
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