Show me the money!

Today I’m going to talk about two things that I almost never talk about here, money and politics, because I heard a story on the radio that really irritated me.  I mean, things never piss me off, right?  It’s so out of the ordinary.

On NPR they were discussing the Obama administration’s comments on ways to raise money for highway repairs.  One of the possible “fixes” is to open up interstate highways to be tolled.  The Washington Post article.

Apparently, no one has any money to pay for road repairs.  The costs have increased beyond the money that has been raised by “traditional” means.  Traditionally, these were covered by taxes on gas purchases, but those have been declining as cars get more efficient (according to the article, anyway).  The tolls would theoretically pay for repairing roads, passing on the costs to the people who use the roads.

Now, this really, really pissed me off.

Why?  I’m glad you asked.

This issue cuts to the center of a larger issue that I have with the US Government (and the many, large companies they are in bed with).  When it comes to Governmental spending, budgeting and all that, the question is always increase taxes or cut spending.  Generally the issues are divided along party lines and nothing ever really gets done.  Seriously, all the issues in this country, budgetary and otherwise, nothing ever gets done.

Before anyone asks, I think both parties are basically bullshit, though I tend to lean more democratic than republican on most issues.

What really bothers me about all of this is where the fuck do all of my tax dollars go?  The government practically bleeds money, our money, and is ridiculously inefficient.  The government is bloated, soft, and so wasteful.  With our money, taxpayer’s money.

US piggy bank s

I make a good living, not terrific but pretty good.  As a single guy, with no dependents (kid lives with Cat), I get hit pretty hard on my taxes.  Without exaggeration, I pay close to $20,000 a year in various taxes, the largest portion going to the federal government.  Granted, a portion of that goes to the state, unemployment insurance, and social security… but where does the rest go?

In addition to taxes, I pay for my own health insurance (partially covered by my employer), car insurance, educational expenses, and taxes on every single purchase (So, really, I’m paying $20,000 a year, plus 7% sales tax on every purchase).  I’m being nickle and dimed in every possible direction.

After all those taxes and expenses, my “good living” is reduced to I’ve-got-my-bills-covered.

Where does all that money go?  We’re all being nickle and dimed to death, and what are we getting for it?

I get paid?  I pay taxes.  I need to buy something?  I’m paying taxes.  I pay for food?  I’m taxed.  I pay for water?  I’m taxed.  I’m required to have all my various insurance policies (that’s another topic).  I buy plane tickets?  I pay taxes.  I buy gas?  I get taxed (which supposedly goes toward fixing the roads).  Every single dollar I receive, or spend, has a portion that’s already earmarked for the state and federal governments.

And now, they’re saying I have to pay tolls to drive through my own fucking country?  WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?  What are my taxes paying for if I can’t even drive around the fucking country?  That’s disgusting.

I’m so pissed off right now.  America, land of the free?  Free?  Bullshit.  What’s next, an oxygen tax?

I’ve been joking for years that I need to leave, but maybe it’s time to start getting more serious.  Are there any ex-pats on here?  Any advice?   I hear good things about Asian countries; Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, etc.

I’ve been to Cambodia and Hong Kong, they seemed nice.

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2 thoughts on “Show me the money!

  1. I would love to see us scrap everything and rebuild our budget from the ground up. As it is, we have so many decades of “same as last year plus a bit more” plus new programs every so often … we now have this big mass of spending that simultaneously manages to have lots of overlap and lots of gaps. Gut EVERYTHING and really give some thought to what we need.

    We need to re-engineer our social safety net spending without being accused of being anti-poor, and we need to re-engineer our defense spending without being accused of being anti-defense. And that’s just for starters. Not that it’s actually going to happen, but it’s what needs to happen.

    In other news, Canada is absolutely lovely – the most beautiful scenery I have seen in my life is in British Columbia. Plus the people are friendly.

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