Sunday, March 8, 2009

Taxpayer: A Totally Useless Word

Yes, that's right; the word taxpayer is a totally useless term. It means absolutely nothing. Do you realize how often the word is getting tossed around these days; as if it separates people in society? It's comparable to saying, I'm a "breathing" person. You know what? If alive; then you're breathing. If alive; then you're paying taxes. I know some pay more tax than others, but who has any right to claim they're somehow better than anyone else because of that obnoxious phase; "I pay taxes".

Even folks in our country that may not be paying a property tax because they don't own a house, pay taxes through their rent. They just can't claim it. Ever notice that those that may be down on their luck can still find money to pay for cigarettes and lottery tickets? Some people that choose to pay taxes in this way may very well be contributing well beyond their personal means.

Having worked as a public official, I can't tell you how many times I had to field complaints from citizens about something on state property that went wrong. Inevitably, I would wait for that infamous line; "I'm a taxpayer". Politicians use it, newspapers use it, every citizen uses it; and, it means nothing. And when confronted with that phase; my response to citizens would be, "that word means nothing; now let's talk about your problem". At which point, the caller would then begin the argument about their role in paying taxes.

OK, I do get a pension. My property tax last year was $8000 and it would have been higher if I did not have my acreage enrolled in the Farm, Forest and Open Space Program. My Fire tax and excise tax combined was $1100. I have yet to mention my income tax, Federal and State. There is sales tax, gas tax, registry fees, meal tax, hotel tax, tolls and by the end of the year, I have paid tens of thousands of dollars in tax. That caller on the end of the line must have actually thought that government employees pay no tax. Well, we may have derived our income from a public source, but we all gave it right back like everyone else.

Everyone listen: Please stop using the term,"taxpayers". It means nothing and if you use it, you just sound stupid.

Blog On

1 comment:

  1. It is hard to award "special treatment" to someone who pays taxes. everyone is a taxpayer! anyone who works in the public sector hears this phrase a lot!