By the gov't.

"The media sounded the alarm last year when the largest U.S. oil company, ExxonMobil Corp, announced profits of $36 billion. But according to the Tax Foundation, the biggest price gouging profiteer was the U.S. government, cashing in to the tune of $54 billion in oil and gas taxes. The think tank, the Tax Foundation, said, 'Tax collections on the production and the import of gasoline by state and federal governments are already near historic highs.' In fact, in recent decades governments have collected far more revenue from gasoline taxes than the largest US oil companies have collectively earned in domestic profits."


c-spewer said...

Wow, you're on a real anti-tax kick these days!

Taxes are certainly not a bad thing in and of themselves. It's when they become excessive that it is. After all, taxes go to pay for lots of things that serve the public common good. Yes, there's always going to be waste, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't participate in the system.

I hate it when people opperate from the notion that "all the money is mine" and the government is somehow stealing it from us. The fact that we live in such a great country in relative safety and prosperity so that we can MAKE all the money we do is testament to the government and systme we have.

I'm not totally disagreeing with you - in fact, I probably agree that we're over-taxed, but we SHOULD be taxed at some level. So what level of taxation is excessive? How do you measure it? I read once that if you add up all the taxes on 1 dollar in our economy (ie: income, sales, corporate, etc.) it comes out to 0.50 on the dollar. For me, we're at that breaking point at that level.

Candace Cieslukowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Cieslukowski said...

April 26th was tax freedom day. Up to that point all your income goes to pay taxes. Now you are working for yourself. Crazy huh?

c-spewer said...

Candace, There is no doubt that there is wasted money in Government, and that there are high ranking positions that are overpaid; however, in general I don't think this is the case. There are a lot of undervalued positions in govenment (President being one!). Some of these govt. jobs require smart leadership and attracting the right person is the difference between doing the job right and having an even bigger costlier disaster on our hands. See: 9/11-FBI/CIA failures; Katrina - FEMA/DHS failures, Iraq War - Dept. of Defense failures, Rowanda and Darfur - Dept. of State and administration failures - 4 exampls where if we had better leadership that did their job right, we could have avoided millions and millions of dollars and saved thousands of lives. I'm willing, as a taxpayer, to pay a higher salary to someone who is compentent and will be effective.

I'm personally thankful that I don't live in a part of the world where dictators control the government and these militias control the people and kill and rape at will. I'm happy that I don't live under Sharia law in the middle east... (I certainly don't want to live under Jerry-law here!)

To what date in the year are we willing to work to have these freedoms and the opportunity to get so rich that our salary is equal to the GDP of many small countries?!

Again, I'm not picking on you, Chez... I'm just trying to recast the debate not as "taxes suck" but as "taxes are necessary and good at a certain level, but excessive beyond that" and to determine what that level is.

Candace Cieslukowski said...

Yeah. But I'm wondering if a higher salary for the President would actually bring in a wise leader? Or just someone lusting after more money and power? What will it take to raise the bar in the US Government? It needs to happen.

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c-spewer said...

You're right about the Presidency - that's a power position: No one seeks it to make money, and most who gain that position are already pretty wealthy.

But I think salary could make a difference in the lower-level (but still high!) leadership positions. I'm not arguing for a pay raise, but keep in mind that high level (2nd, 3rd line and up) management in the corporate world makes well over 100K/year if not closer to 150-200K. We, the people, have to compensate those we would hire to run our various departments at comparable levels.

You bring up a great question "What would it take?". I think the answer is "Accountability". Unfortunately that is often lacking in politics.

BTW, did you know how easy it was to get a college degree?! You can have one in less than 2 weeks! A couple weeks later, you could be heading up FEMA! :) (Chez, you can delete those comment).

Kevin Cieslukowski said...

welcome kevin morgan to the blog!

just a barking pig said...

miss you man, tell missy i say hey. when are "ya'll" coming back to visit?

Susie Q said...

you have quite the debate going here...lol. debate is good, it helps people see more clearly...just wanted to say hi...
oh...and I was driving through needles, ca...(i know...yes, there is actually a city called needles, in the middle of no where....and I was there), and reg. unleaded lowest price, 4.35 a gallon...that is excessive...gas in ca is already at least .40 cents more expensive because of the addition of state taxes....that is extreme...it's time we do something about it. I do not propose any solution or place any blame, the prices are what they are, but are we willing to just get flustered and keep forking out money? I am investing in a new bike, it costs less than a tank of gas...and yes, it will take longer to get to work...but the benefits:
1. you don't have to squeeze in time to excercise, it just happens...that equals a healthier american population
2. more time in your day...you can't work as late or sleep in as much, or even work as far away, that means you have to work closer to home, which means a better quality of life for the american family
3. its fun, and it will add years to your life
4. its inexpensive...imagine, never having to buy a gallon of gas again.
5. car accidents, road rage, and all other misfortunes on the road, drastically reduced
6. its even good for the environment
7. it would greatly help our standing among arab countries, and all countries, if they see that we are willing to give up oil, and live just a bit more humbly.
I know it won't happen for everyone...but, if you want change, it has to start on the personal level...meaning you have to be the first one to do it.
...for one gallon of gas I could pay for a well to be dug in africa that would provide water for four people for a full year...I am not too proud to walk/bike to work.
so this comment, not so much about taxes as it is about doing something about it. love ya kev!

just a barking pig said...

Miss you guys

Candace Cieslukowski said...

keeev! i want to see some new blogs dude!!! How else am i supposed to keep updated on your life and world perspective?? ...yyyoou new kind of christian...