Wednesday, July 5, 2017

We Need To Avoid England’s Mistakes And Do Taxes Right

By John Crudele
The New York Post
July 5, 2017

Taxes go to the very roots of Independence Day, which commemorates the actions of angry colonists who’d had enough of sending their hard-earned money to England.

Taxes, of course, have always been a contentious issue.

Nobody ever likes to pay taxes. But the anger is especially great when people feel their money is being wasted.

Today is no different. And taxes are front and center right now because the Trump administration is promising — or maybe “threatening” is the right word — to completely revise the tax code, which most people agree has become incredibly unfair and unbelievably complicated.

I thought it would be good to dedicate this column to the taxes that got our forefathers so darned perturbed that they were willing to break ties with Mother England and go it alone.

The American Revolution and our country’s founding were the direct result of a miscalculation by English politicians as to how much the people — we, the people, who would come to be known as Americans — were willing to take.

We’ve all heard these stories already. But maybe we should learn something from these brave, daring and scared people or — at the very least — realize how dangerous it is when enough folks become irate over money.

The Boston Tea Party is probably the most famous tax revolt against England.

On Dec. 16, 1773, colonists who were part of a group called the Sons of Liberty dressed up like Native Americans and boarded a ship belonging to the East India Co.

The group tossed chests of tea into Boston Harbor. They were protesting a tax that the British government had placed on tea — the Tea Act — the previous May without consulting the colonists.

England’s King George III came down hard on Boston. He imposed what came to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which included the Boston Port Act that closed that city’s harbor until the tea’s owner was repaid for the destroyed product.

The government of Massachusetts was also placed under England’s control, and the colonists were forced to house the British soldiers who were there to make sure the future Red Sox fans behaved.

But the Boston Tea Party wasn’t something that came out of the blue. Colonists’ complaints about taxes started long before that.

Historians say that the Currency Acts of 1751 and 1764 began it all.

Britain wouldn’t let the colonies print their own money because homemade currency was causing inflation and becoming worthless. Besides, if the American colonies didn’t have their own money, King George II’s and George III’s power increased.

To be sure, there was a lot more that went into the making of the American Revolution. On our side, there were some rabble-rousers who saw independence as more profitable than being a citizen of England.

On the Brits’ side, there were those who wanted to bleed America dry.

In any great political upheaval, it’s always good to follow the money if you want to understand why people became so angry at the establishment that they were willing to try something entirely new.

Our forefathers, even the rich ones, felt that their way of living was under attack. And they were worried about the same basic things we are today — putting food on the table and caring for their families.

Donald Trump was elected president last year in what many believe was the most improbable election result ever. Some might even consider it a revolution of sorts.

The Democrats didn’t get their candidate elected. But neither did the Republicans, who saw outsider Trump grab hold of their ticket and refuse to let go.

Sure, there was the Russian thing. And Hillary Clinton was a very bad choice for the Democrats — so bad, in fact, that the shock of her losing to Trump is still causing fits among members of both parties.

But money was the main issue in last year’s election. Trump correctly figured that focusing on the shortage of jobs — especially good jobs — in this country was the road to victory.

The need for more jobs, however, wasn’t the only issue. There are two sides to every family’s financial ledger: how much money is coming in and how much is going out in costs.

One of the biggest expenditures for any household today is taxes. The lowest income-tax bracket today still makes people cough up 10 percent of their income to Washington. The highest bracket forces taxpayers to give Washington 40 cents of every dollar they earn.

And that doesn’t include state and local taxes or sales taxes.

Wouldn’t Americans today be thrilled to have only their sugar, tea and documents (also taxable back in the day) taxed!

America is 241 years old today. Congratulations to us!

But while time has flown, the issues are still the same. Let’s hope there’s only one revolution in this country’s history.

Let’s avoid the same mistakes England made.


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