Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taxes, I mean Tuesdays with Paulie

Tax-Day is here and my a** hurts
Today serves as a reminder of the over-taxation in America

I have an ongoing joke with many of my Libertarian and Republican friends. Whenever a person enters Illinois from a neighboring state, Governor Blogojevich greets you at the border with a tube of Vaseline. "What do I need this for you," will undoubtedly ask. Blago would respond with an evil laugh and then informs you that Illinois is a tax-happy state and you will need the lubricant to make it easier for the government to squeeze every penny out of you in the Socialist rooted taxation that occurs in the Land of Lincoln.

Between January 1 and April 15 of each year, every American feels the pain of high taxes from the Federal and State government. Granted most people get refunds, but they still learn the harsh reality of how much of their earned income goes to the government. Making matters worse is that nobody truly knows how much they spend in taxes from making daily purchases at your local gas station, grocer or department store. Conservative estimates say 45-50% of each dollar earned finds it's way back into government coiffures.

For all you anti-capitalist socialists who believe that oil companies are evil, remember that Uncle Sam makes much more money per gallon than Exxon or Shell. My home state is a great example.

The federal government makes 18.4 cents per gallon of gas. Illinois than tact's on an additional 19 cents per gallon as an excise tax. Then there is the additional state, county and local sales tax, which includes township and municipality charges. The state and county charge ranges from 6.25% to 9.25% or 10.25% after November 1. The more localized costs vary. Making matters worse in Illinois is every time the price of gasoline increases, the pump price increases at a greater rate because Illinois gas taxes combined with the extra-local taxes are based on a percentage rate not a flat-amount.

The only rate that does not change is the retail cost, which is 8 cents per gallon with Chicago being the exception at 12 cents. That's right, the gas companies make the least amount of money from gasoline and the government makes the most. Production and refinery costs are the biggest expense at the pump, next to the price of crude oil on the open market.

In Illinois and many areas of the United States, it is safe to say that before you pay for the oil that goes into your vehicle, you are giving the government anywhere from 75 cents to $1.30 per gallon before you even begin to pay anything to the gas provider. Imagine the relief you and your family would feel if those taxes didn't exist.

As crude oil trading approaches $115 per barrel and the per gallon price nears $3.50 a gallon, wouldn't $2.25 or 2.50 per gallon gasoline ease your financial pain? Especially as the summer nears and you have plans for family outings.

Isn't it fascinating that when it comes to helping the average person, not to mention the poor or struggling small business owner, the Democrats are no where to be found. Oh sure they bitch and moan about high gas prices and corporate profits, but when it comes to something they have the power to change over-night, providing meaningful help for the family of four or that single mother working two jobs, silence becomes their best friend.

Take a moment and think about the logic behind gasoline taxes as well as other taxes. When you get your pay-stub at work you will see first hand the tax-gouging that occurred during that pay period. Chances are you drove to work or maybe to a train station, so you could get to your job, so you can pay taxes. You paid taxes for the gas you used to get to your place of employment so you can pay more taxes when you got there. The coffee, bagel or donut you bought for breakfast was taxed. If you parked your car in a public parking lot or bought a train ticket, you were taxed. That cheeseburger or salad you had for lunch was taxed.

Because you worked late to pay your taxes and couldn't get home in time to make dinner, you paid taxes on that over-priced meal at Boston Market or KFC. That new suit you bought for the job interview, so you can get a better job and give the government more money, was also taxed. Do I need to go on?

Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain is calling for the federal government to at least suspend gasoline taxes during the summer months. That's a start, but not until the state and local bureaucrats decide to suspend or hopefully eliminate these insane taxes, will real relief be felt by the average consumer. Meanwhile there are those far-left Democrats who are happy with the high taxes and even happier with the rising costs at the pump. They believe Americans should be punished for their use of oil and should suffer the consequences or should I say their families should endure the hardship.

From a security and economic point of view, I would love to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. However we had that opportunity over twelve years ago when congress wanted to drill in Alaska and President Clinton vetoed the bill. Today we would be using that oil and paying less than half at the pump. Don't even get me started about drilling off the gulf coast. But I digress.

Tonight when you put your kids to bed and cuddle with the wife on the couch, take a look around you, count your blessings and then ask yourself what more you could do for your family if the tax-man wasn't utilizing every ounce of Vaseline in the jar.



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