Where Your Money Goes

A comment that has almost become a part of the American way of life is, “Where does all the money go?” At the end of the month, or the end of a year, most of it has just seemed to vanish – almost mysteriously, without a trace.

Well, the culprit has been discovered.

The insidious monster which each year walks off with the biggest slice of your income is a multi-headed, voracious, insatiable, porcine behemoth called TAXES!

The experts have figured out where the money, earned by the average individual, goes during a typical working day:

From 8:00 in the morning until 9:36, the money you earn goes for food, about an hour and a half a day. From 9:36 until 10:11, your money goes for transportation. 10:11 until 11:45, your money is taken by housing – which is actually an investment, a savings. From 11:45 until 1:00, we’ll call it lunchtime. But 1:00 in the afternoon until 3:34, every penny you earn goes for taxes. From 3:34 until 3:56, your earnings go for medical purposes. From 3:56 until 4:27, for clothing. From 4:27 until 4:44, for recreation. And from 4:44 until 5:00, for miscellaneous expenses.

But the biggest slice of all goes for taxes.

As you can see from this work-day clock, these taxes take a bigger portion of your earnings than any other of your expenditures. In a year’s time, this tax bite consumes a chunk of your income big enough to pay the cost of sending a youngster to college or making a down payment on a new home. Or, if this tax money could be put into a savings account, it would soon add up to enough to give you comfort and security in your old age.

If your gross income this year is $3,400, for example, you will be nicked about $1,100 for taxes. (In 2019 dollars, this translates to roughly a $32,000 gross income with $10,400 for taxes.) That’s big money – it’s almost a hundred dollars a month out of your pocket. It’s more than the average family spends a year for food and rent put together. This vicious tax bite is the reason why hundreds of people in the Middle West joined an organization they call IGHATS.

IGHATS stands for their battle cry, “I’m Gonna Holler About Taxes.”

The purpose of this group is to let people know, in plain language and arithmetic, how much they pay in taxes. For example, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa the average industrial worker earns $3,400 a year. He pays about $300 direct income taxes, deducted from his paycheck. That’s not too tough. What he doesn’t realize (and very few people do) is that he pays out $800 more a year in hidden taxes. These are sneaky taxes hidden in the price of things he and his family buy. For example, on a new $10,000 house, about $2,000 goes to pay for six hundred hidden taxes. (In 2019 dollars, this translates to a $94,800 house with $19,000 in taxes.) When a man buys a gallon of gasoline, he pays direct and hidden taxes that add up to more than the cost of the gasoline.

By greatly increasing the cost of the things we buy, taxes keep us from buying more of the thing we need and want. Therefore, hidden taxes are a brake on buying power, which in turn slow down the production and distribution of goods. By sopping up one-third of our buying power, taxes are a constant threat to full employment and high wages.

So, the next time you wonder where all of your money is going, remember that hidden taxes are taking the biggest bite.

Taxes are so unrealistic, absurd, and excessive that they add, for example, more than $650 to the price of a medium-priced automobile. I think more people ought to join IGHATS – and say, “I’m gonna holler about taxes.”

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