One of the worst dirty little secrets of liberalism is how they will protect the "little guy" by soaking the rich. Let us examine how the progressive do-gooders have protected "Joe Six-Pack" throughout the years with the most regressive taxes imaginable.
Sin taxes come to mind immediately. I don't smoke, but as long as it is legal, sort of, I respect the right of others to do it. Who smokes and what does it cost, comparatively speaking? Remember all of those tobacco suit settlements? The federal government made tax collectors out of the tobacco companies. The companies, per se, were not responsible to pay, as the judgments all were imposed against taxes on future sales. The question is, do these confiscatory taxes of nearly 90 percent have a greater impact on the homeless black man on the streets with his stolen shopping cart and cardboard shelter, the waitress or on the messiah President Barack Obama?
Let me try to get the attention of the Steamboat wine-and-croissant crowd. Do you realize that 68 to 75 percent of the cost of your merlot is tax? Probably not, because it does not make a difference to you. The Democrats claim to represent Joe Six-Pack and Willie Wino.
How about your cell phone? A whopping 33 percent is tax and fees, and it is even higher for a land line. Again, a small percent of your budget compared to the guy who collects your trash or unclogs your toilet. But, alas, I recognize that these are discretionary : luxuries. So let us move on.
I was in the Philippines last week, and gasoline was a little more than $1 a gallon. Why? Because they have their own refineries and do not have 50 percent state and local taxes. Ironically, the taxibus drivers were complaining bitterly, and that is why I had to pay 7 Philippine pesos (14 cents) to go almost three miles. If you work in Hayden and live in the 'Boat or Craig, the cost of gas is a significant cost compared to your daily wage.
Are you getting an idea of how badly we are soaking the rich and looking out for the little guy? Good, because you need to hold on to your shorts when I explain "cap and trade" to you.
Take a look at your current electric bill. Note that about 50 percent of your bill is taxes and fees. Do you know that you are still paying a tax that was sold on the "electrification" of rural America put in place during the Great Depression? Numb? You should be, but wait. The current "cap and trade" legislation, promulgated on the myth of global warming, is estimated to add $3,000 per person to your electric, food and other goods.
Oh, excuse me, I guess these are not essentials if you are willing to starve and freeze in the dark. You know very well that not a dime of it will be used to try to impact global climate. I say "try" because the sun and the oceans dwarf man's activities. In fact, the Earth has cooled for the past nine years, and we now are projected to enter a mini-ice age.
For those who have attended American public schools during the past 30 years, let me illustrate the total unavoidable tax burden on a family, any family. If you spend $50 on your phone, $100 on electricity, $100 on gasoline and $50 on beer or smokes each month, you are paying more than $159 in hidden taxes. If cap and trade is passed, that amount would jump by $250.
Paul Epley is a longtime Routt County conservative activist, holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Southern California, and is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado. He currently resides in Pasco, Wash.