the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on October 28, 2009

This came to me by an email just to remind people how far we’ve come.  I can’t tell people how much tax is right but I can say we have too much.


A Tax Poem

At first I thought this was funny…..
then I realized the awful truth of it.

Be sure to read all the way to the end!…

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers.
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
“Taxes drove me to my doom…”

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon or more)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax=0
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
California Redemption Tax
Recycling Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation
was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle
class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

25 Responses to “Tax^2”

  1. DeWitt Payne said

    You might get an argument from the Brits about a comparison of relative prosperity of 1909 USA and Great Britain. It’s not important enough to me to actually dig up the numbers, but pre-WWI GB was pretty well off, what with the Empire still going strong then.

  2. Retired Engineer said

    If the founders of this land had seen what ‘taxation with representation’ is like, I suspect we would have a far different form of government. No politician can sleep at night, worrying that one dime is left untaxed. Indeed, they drool over the prospects of Cap&Trade, Healthcare, and ever more regulation.

    Death and taxes. But you only die once.

  3. Jeff Id said

    #3 Agreed. Taxation with representation ain’t much better.

  4. Dave said

    I really, really, really feel sorry for my kids. It will all come crashing down on their heads.

  5. gt said

    Maybe OT, but here’s an excellent commentary by Gary North:

    This is where we are heading. And we are supposed to care about (natural) changes in climate?

  6. Jorge said


    This theme of over taxation is quite old. I think the poem may be an update on the complaints of Sydney Smith about high taxation in England after the Napoleonic wars.

    “Taxes upon every article which
    enters the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot
    — taxes upon everything which is pleasant to see, hear, feel,
    smell, or taste—taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion—
    taxes on everything on earth and the waters under the earth— on
    everything that comes from abroad, or is grown at home—taxes
    on the raw material—taxes on every fresh value that is added to
    it by the industry of man—taxes on the sauce which pampers
    man’s appetite, and the drugthat restores him to health—on the
    ermine which decorates the judge, and the rope which hangs the
    criminal—on the poor man’s salt, and the rich man’s spice—on
    the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribands of the bride—at bed
    or board, couchant or levant, we must pay—the schoolboy
    whips his taxed top— the beardless youth manages his taxed
    horse, with a taxed bridle on a taxed road: —and the dying
    Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid 7 per cent.,
    into a spoon that haspaid 15 per cent., —flings himselfupon his
    chintz bed, which has paid 22 per cent., —and expires in the
    arms of an apothecary who has paid a license of a hundred
    pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole
    property is then immediately taxed from 2 to 10 per cent.
    Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in
    the chancel; his virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed
    marble; and he is then gathered to his fathers, —to be taxed no
    more. (Sydney Smith, EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1820.)”

  7. KuhnKat said


    Comparisons between a Colonial power’s prosperity and the US are rather poor form even with slavery.

  8. j ferguson said

    The claim that not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago misses the point that there is nothing really new about a lot of these taxes, likely only the magnitude of their burden when used in parallel.

    Like ChickenMan, they are everywhere. To paraphrase Ev Dirksen, “More than a little here, more than a little there, and pretty soon you are talking about REAL money.”

    We had an income tax during the Civil War. I suspect, if I looked further, I could find more examples.

    Keep sharp, you skeptics. Watch out for Tax Burden Hockey Sticks which ignore MWPs.

  9. j ferguson said

    To wit:

    “When the Civil War erupted, the Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861, which restored earlier excises taxes and imposed a tax on personal incomes. The income tax was levied at 3 percent on all incomes higher than $800 a year. This tax on personal income was a new direction for a Federal tax system based mainly on excise taxes and customs duties. Certain inadequacies of the income tax were quickly acknowledged by Congress and thus none was collected until the following year.

    By the spring of 1862 it was clear the war would not end quickly and with the Union’s debt growing at the rate of $2 million daily it was equally clear the Federal government would need additional revenues. On July 1, 1862 the Congress passed new excise taxes on such items as playing cards, gunpowder, feathers, telegrams, iron, leather, pianos, yachts, billiard tables, drugs, patent medicines, and whiskey. Many legal documents were also taxed and license fees were collected for almost all professions and trades.

    The 1862 law also made important reforms to the Federal income tax that presaged important features of the current tax. For example, a two-tiered rate structure was enacted, with taxable incomes up to $10,000 taxed at a 3 percent rate and higher incomes taxed at 5 percent. A standard deduction of $600 was enacted and a variety of deductions were permitted for such things as rental housing, repairs, losses, and other taxes paid. In addition, to assure timely collection, taxes were “withheld at the source” by employers.”

    The real question should be, “If you have a government, what would ever make you think there wouldn’t be taxes?”

  10. DeWitt Payne said

    Kuhnkat #7,

    Please explain to me the moral difference between colonizing across oceans versus on the same continent. Oh wait, we went across an ocean too to colonize the Hawaiian islands.

  11. DeWitt Payne said

    From the Revolver album by The Beatles:

    Let me tell you how it will be,
    There’s one for you, nineteen for me,
    ‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
    Yeah, I’m the Taxman.
    Should five per cent appear too small,
    Be thankful I don’t take it all.
    ‘Cos I’m the Taxman,
    Yeah yeah, I’m the Taxman.

  12. Andrew said

    9-This does not properly distinguish that income tax from the modern, progressive or “graduated” tax which specifically would be unconstitutional under Article I, Section 9, Clause 4:

    “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

    The modern income tax was not, as the tax during the civil war was, a flat tax:

    (to be sure, a dubious, though temporary progressive revision in the Revenue Act of 1862)

    and indeed the 16th amendment now allows the Congress to circumvent this prohibition as well as the uniformity clause (apportionment among the states):

    “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

  13. j ferguson said

    Hi Jeff,
    I thought three stages could be construed to be graduated, no tax, 3% and 5%.
    I felt the worthy point of the poetry was not the unprecedentedness of the individual taxes, which are likely not unprecedented, but more the staggering load of their accumulated imposition.

    We suffered the tripling of our real estate tax (after the reassessment following purchase) of a home in South Florida in fewer than 6 years. Only then, did they enact a homestead rule limiting increases to 10% / year. It went from being tolerable to more than we chose to afford in a short time. Problem was that maybe 35-40% of properties in that jurisdiction were not paying anything.

    This is really where we need to look – that everyone who is at all capable contributes. Don’t you agree?

  14. Jeff Id said

    #13, I would like to see the government services chopped in half with massive layoffs from both federal and state agencies. There are plenty of agencies which are redundant and can be chopped. The DOE is also a good candidate. We don’t need the federal government to regulate what and how to teach, it’s a useless waste of money which has thoroughly corrupted our public education system.

    So when you ask where I would look, right at the albatross hanging around our collective necks.

  15. j ferguson said

    #14 Heartily agreed

  16. timetochooseagain said

    14-DOE is not the correct acronym, actually-you are thinking of the Department of Energy-and equally stupid thing-the Department of Education is ED:

  17. SteveAUS said

    #13 and #14

    A serious question, since I’m looking for an alternative point of view. IMO, the lack of a regulated education system would lead to serious deficiencies, dependent on where we live, and where we come from.

    While I don’t think that it needs to be entirely govt. controlled, what would you argue against a small department that outlines vital knowledge for each year level. This body would also serve to ensure that marking standards are consistent.

    Someone needs to regulate the standards of marking, to ensure that the right people are being awarded the right grade with respect to someone in a different suburb, town or state.

    NOTE…I’m Australian, and my opinion is based on the system here, and some problems that I have experienced with varying standards and curricula at different schools.

  18. Jeff Id said

    #My own opinion is that consistency is the opposite of what you want. I want freedom for teachers to teach, freedom for them to be fired and freedom to put my kids in a different school. No department required.

  19. SteveAUS said

    That’s a good point about freedom to teach, and in a lot of teachers, I and I’m sure many others have been beneficiaries of unique aspects of a teachers knowledge. Fun facts, interesting topics.

    What happens if, hypothetically, you started to get teachers who didn’t moderate their political ideologies, and allowed that to dominate their teaching and marking?

    I definitely agree with teachers being able to be hired and fired should the need arise. As a side note, I also believe that teachers should have more freedom to expel troublemakers.

    I think there has to be regulation at SOME level…

  20. Jeff Id said

    What happens if, hypothetically, you started to get teachers who didn’t moderate their political ideologies, and allowed that to dominate their teaching and marking?

    This is what we have now. Teachers are all Union so they need to vote Democrat to support pay increases, vacation and the inability to be fired. What’s more is they regularly teach leftist views to our children brainwashing them into thinking America is bad, distorting our history in favor of revisionist minority history, pro-indian, pro-everything except what we are. It’s a side effect of the regulations. It didn’t even exist until 1979. Since that time our education standards have not improved at all in the US. Currently it’s a 69 billion dollar waste of money which does nothing but tie teachers hands in a vain attempt to “standardize” when competition should be the answer.

  21. Jeff Id said

    And another 100 billion in discretionary funding. About 3,000 per student (60,000USD/20 person class) and that is not the money which pays teachers, teacher money comes from the state.

  22. Mark T said

    SteveAUS said
    November 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm
    #13 and #14

    IMO, the lack of a regulated education system would lead to serious deficiencies, dependent on where we live, and where we come from.

    There is no evidence that this would be true. In fact, most evidence points to the contrary, i.e., an unregulated education system would be better.

    While I don’t think that it needs to be entirely govt. controlled, what would you argue against a small department that outlines vital knowledge for each year level. This body would also serve to ensure that marking standards are consistent.

    Someone needs to regulate the standards of marking, to ensure that the right people are being awarded the right grade with respect to someone in a different suburb, town or state.

    The free market is more than capable of dealing with these issues. Towns would strive to hire the best teachers out of competition with other towns. Bad teachers would not get hired, period. There would be incentive for teachers to be good, and fair, too. Individual schools are more than capable of enforcing their own policies, which would be clearly stated (otherwise parents might be hesitant to put their kids in such schools).

    The answer is so simple yet nobody wants to admit it. Politicians are frightened of giving up their power and control over our lives. People are afraid someone will slip through the cracks (they do, anyway). It’s a travesty.


  23. SteveAUS said

    Most of that seems to make a lot of sense. I agree that competition could lead to better teachers, and worse teachers being out of a job, as it should be. I also agree that most schools would be (and should be) capable of enforcing their own policies.

    I guess my problem lies in my cynicism towards the public, in that there would still be lazy parents not willing to make an effort to research the schools properly. This would lead to some schools not being shown that they need to pick up their game, by low attendance.

    I don’t think either extreme would be ideal…though I do think the governments need to back off in terms of ownership. As with anything, the short sighted nature of political parties leads to irresponsible ownership, that would be better managed by permanently accountable people. In this case, the principal, etc of the school.

  24. Jeff Id said

    The lazy/ignorant can follow the non lazy by population and reputation. In my very humble opinion less governance is less troublesome than people generally believe. We’re taught from an early age that regulations are the only way.

  25. woodNfish said

    Cutting all government in half would be a nice start on our way to one quarter. I’d love to see hundreds of thousands of unemployed ex-government hacks.

    The solution to our public education problems is school vouchers: Parents receive a tuition voucher for each child of school age to use at the school of their choice. This immediately gets rid of public schools, teachers unions, school boards, etc. Schools and teachers would have to compete for students just like colleges do.

    A similar solution exists for the ridiculously high cost of college education: Stop the government from providing and guaranteeing college loans. Tuition costs would immediately drop because most students couldn’t afford the present costs and private loans would also dry up without the Federal guarantees.

    Of course, this is all a pipe dream.

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