Letter: Time to stop saying over half wage earners don’t pay taxes
Why do politicians and people in general constantly lie by broadcasting a statement that a certain percent of Americans don’t pay taxes, or more specifically, don’t pay federal taxes?
Recent letters to the papers in various cities lately have made that assertion as a matter of fact. Those are blatant lies.
Every time your fill your gas tank you pay a federal tax. Every wage earner pays a payroll tax that goes toward Social Security and Medicare. Certain purchases on a variety of items require a federal excise tax.
We in North Dakota pay property taxes, either directly as a homeowner or apartment owner, or indirectly if you are not a property owner. Don’t think your landlord doesn’t figure in his/her tax costs when charging rent. Sales tax in North Dakota is no small item. Fees on auto licenses, marriage and anything else our legislators have found fit to charge a fee for are taxes.
And the percentage of people who supposedly don’t pay any tax or any federal tax grows larger by the day, with figures now being published exceeding 50 percent of American wage earners or more. Who establishes these figures? What taxes are they talking about?
If a person earns so little that they would not have to pay an income tax, don’t most have taxes withheld from their paychecks? Maybe they get a full refund when calculating their taxes, but isn’t that a hidden penalty?
When is the last time you got a refund from the federal government for overpaying your taxes and got a refund that included interest on money withheld?
There are all kinds of questions and circumstances involved in our tax systems, but let’s quit saying that over half the American wage earners don’t pay taxes, in whatever form of tax people are talking about. Every state has a different tax structure. As an old adage says, “The only certainties in life are death and taxes.” We all end up with both.
John H. Gengler, Richardton