Taxes are Due But What Are We Paying For?

It is April, that time when we file our Federal and State income taxes. But as the economy continues to fail our families, while schools crumble and jobs vanish, we must ask ourselves, is the price really worth the prize? We do the work, and we pay into the economy through the money taken from our paychecks and the items we buy. So why don’t we see the benefits? If we don’t see our taxes improving our daily lives in the form of jobs, good health care and education, then where is our money going?

Where Will Our Tax Money Go in 2013?

  • $89 billion will be spent on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

  • Another $750 billion will be spent on other military development.

  • $516 billion will pay for past military costs.

  • The oil and gas industry will receive up to $41 billion in subsidies.

  • $36 billion will be spent on new nuclear power plants.

  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons will receive more than $6.9 billion, increasing their funding by 4.2%.

Who Pays the Taxes? The Workers Do!

  • In 2010-2011, the personal income taxes from our jobs provided 52.5% of General Fund revenues in California. So more than half of the money our state government spends comes from workers’ pockets.

  • Nearly 30% of State funding comes from sales tax. This consists of items we decide to buy, such as cell phones, groceries, or clothes.

  • In other words, over 80% of the money collected by the State comes from workers, when you add sales tax and our personal income taxes.

  • Even though conservative politicians claim that immigrants use our resources without contributing to the tax system, immigrants pay an around $11 billion in income taxes, sales, and other taxes.

Corporations Hardly Pay Anything!

  • Corporate tax is only 11.3%, even though these companies are all profiting in the billions.

  • Oil companies like Chevron who profit in the billions, pay $0 in oil extraction taxes.

  • GE corporation paid $0 in corporate taxes last year, while receiving $182 billion in bailouts.

There is No Prize in The Price We Pay!

Considering how much money goes to warand corporate interests, it’s obvious that this system and its tax policies do not serve ordinary people. Most families struggle from paycheck to paycheck, but we’re being forced to pay the most. What would our lives be like if the taxes we paid actually improved roads and schools, and expanded social service programs? What kind of lives could we have if the money we contributed met our needs instead of the needs of the wealthy? We should be outraged that the work we do and the taxes we pay serves a system we do not control.