As we have passed the first year of Uncle Joe’s regime, one thing should surprise us. Federal taxes have not yet increased. At least not directly.
This certainly cannot be wholly blamed on just plain Joe, of course. Unless we consider his glaring incompetence to be a reason. He and his minions (or caregivers) have certainly been trying very hard to raise billions and billions of dollars. The “Build Back Better” idea included such wonderful things as a new 15% gross receipts tax (sales tax, in other words) on business.
All of this is, we here at TPOL believe, all about getting money – making profits! (Of course, we know the mantra: governments are “non-profit” and they don’t “make money” – but we reject that as the hooey that it is.)
Today, let us (literally) talk about highway robbery.
For example, we can quite handily quote the civics textbook answer about federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel. It is actually a “fee” because all the money goes into “highway user trust funds” and is ALWAYS used to fund the construction and maintenance of highways: not just Interstate and US Highways, but State and county and even municipal highways, roads, and streets. Again, hogwash.
The FedGov (and the States, and yes, the counties and cities and towns and townships) all skim their percentage off the top. It isn’t that the contractors (and their suppliers and employees) or even the guys in government jobs that actually drive the trucks and pick up the dead deer and fill the potholes and clean the signs that get all the money. It is the bureaucrats: middle and upper management – including political appointees – and the bean-counters and all the rest. Which often means the politicians themselves. (After all, why do they pick THOSE people for the political plum jobs? Campaign donors! And what do all those unionized government employees’ unions do with a lot of their dues? Campaign donations!)
And that doesn’t count the bucks that Congress and all the State legislatures “earmark” out of the fuel tax revenues to all the boondoggles. Things like public transit, like bicycle lanes, like hiking trails, and like public art on the highways – those awful pieces of “artwork” that adorn so many places. To say nothing of vainglorious “Welcome to the most wonderful city in the Universe” signs and monuments.
Indeed, as the chart above shows, the FedGov has raked in billions and billions since way back in 1932. Ninety years of profit. Indeed, the FedGov makes MORE money from a gallon of diesel or gasoline than the actual station that you buy your fuel at does. Or the jobber or the hauler or the guys and gals that actually own the oil before it is pumped out of the ground. And possibly more profit than even Big Oil makes on production and processing.
(Of course, remember that one of the BIGGEST landowners and recipients of royalties for oil production in these Fifty State is… ta-ta! The Federal Government.
And of course, for totally unsupportable reasons, gas- and diesel-guzzling vehicles must be replaced by electrical vehicles. Again, despite all the hash-slinging about manmade global warming and other air pollution and spills and contamination and all that, I suspect that the Fed- and State-gov lust for money is also a big part of this. After all, as Washington State is already doing, fuel taxes will be replaced by per-mile fees to pay for the roads. BUT… That electricity you are taking from your house, your business, or the growing number of charging stations is TAXED too! And sometimes double-taxed.
It is a sweet little hustle – trillions of bucks. Sweet for everyone but us suckers who have the money sucked out of our wallets.