On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
Line 53, and Our Money's Worth
The only useful thing the IRS (motto: "We've got what it takes, to take what you get") ever does is to publish, on the back page of its 1040 Form, a simple account of how the Feds spend the money they confiscate from you and me. In one easy sitting, it enables us to compare those pie charts and figures with the amount of money we may just have written on Line 53, inside the Form, and ask the penetrating question: "Are we getting our money's worth?"
Line 53 is the total amount of the payments we make the Feds, under threat of being imprisoned. It's not, of course, the total amount they take from us; if we're in regular employment another 7.5% of our income is seized, for example, from our employer for "Social Security"; for all that we never see it, every penny of it is ours, not his.
Then come the invisible taxes taken from us as part of the price we pay for things we buy, like gasoline. And then they borrow from our grandchildren. And then they inflate the currency. And then there are State and Town taxes. Etc.
But the Feds grab, on average, one quarter of everything you and I earn. As those pie charts reveal, they spent (in 1996) $1,560 billion, and since we all produced a bit over $6,000 billion, they grabbed 25 cents in every dollar; they enslaved us for one working hour out of every four, one week in every month.
So, what do you think; if you had had the choice of volunteering to write a check for the amount you entered on Line 53, having in mind the "benefits" illustrated by those nice IRS pie charts, would you have written it?
If you would, then you should be happy. You got your money's worth. But if not, then the inescapable conclusion is that you are, in part, a slave. You are the victim of a gigantic theft, by the very people who pretend to protect you.
Not One Red Cent
In those pie charts, some readers will find a few things they are happy to have the Federal Government spend their money on, and so will feel they are enslaved for less than the whole amount taken via Line 53. In my case, I can't think of any at all, so I don't volunteer to pay them a single red cent. There is not one "benefit" shown in the pie chart (or anywhere else, that I have seen) that I perceive as being of the slightest value to me; the whole amount is a dead loss. In fact, I see many activities that are positively damaging; that is, I might volunteer to pay them something if they agreed NOT to do them!
Take "Law Enforcement", for example, which incidentally comes to less than 2% of the total spend. It's a nice title (politicians can find warm, fuzzy names for almost everything they do) but in truth the "law" that government enforces actually generates true crime, rather than supressing it. Drug prohibition, for example, is directly causing massive crime, with real victims, just as alcohol prohibition did in the '20s. Well, I certainly favor a peaceful society, so would contribute a modest sum to help bring one about - by keeping government right out of the business of enforcing laws and administering justice.
Then, consider "defense", which mops up over 20% of all the Feds spend, and equates to $3,000 a year taken from the average household. Every one of its wars since 1812 has been provoked by the US Government. It has been the biggest single threat to world peace, for at least the last half century. That is how they are really using your money and mine, and not to "defend" us at all. Here again, I'd be willing to donate a little, to make sure the Feds stay disarmed and keep quiet. The world would be a much safer place; and to the small extent that we need defending from foreigners, we'll find a much better way.
More than half of what they grab from us all goes to other people and companies, in one way or another. Two thirds of that goes on "Social Security", and no, I'm not volunteering another penny for that because I could buy a true insurance plan on the open market that would yield me two to three times more benefit for the same premium. I'd be crazy to buy into a scheme which, in free competition with others, would be unsaleable!
As for the rest, a rat-bag of thousands of transfer schemes often alleged to "relieve poverty", more and more scholars are now following Charles Murray's pathbreaking work a decade ago to recognize that when you spend more on poverty, you get more of it. There are even Republicans who now recognize that blindingly obvious truth; and you never know, some decade soon the Democrats might see it too. The fact is that the trillions of dollars of our money that have been spent in the "war on poverty" have in fact made it far worse.
I think poverty is a terrible thing, so if I could, I'd contribute zippo to the Government Poverty Factory and instead donate a little, if necessary, to keep it well and truly out of the welfare business. And some more, of course, to private charities who know how to to the job right.
Am I getting my money's worth? - absolutely not; I grieve that every dollar I'm forced to surrender to government is not only failing to improve our society, but is actually making things WORSE; in a real sense, I'm being forced to pay for the building of my own prison. So, I believe, is virtually every one of us.
The patriotic, the social thing to do, the best way we could serve our fellow- men, would be to stop this vast nonsense at source; to turn off the faucet, to stop paying taxes. The less they have, the less damage they can do.
That's a whole lot easier said then done, given the impressive array of force they have lined up against us, at our own expense. But We the People do have a few things still in our favor, most notably the carefully-hidden fact that the income tax is voluntary, and NOT compelled by law. For more info on how to stop volunteering, click here. As well as greatly raising your own net pay at once, you'll help the country.
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