Tax Cuts Can Lead You To Paying More To The Government

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In an article at Alternet, Joshua Holland makes the case that conservative-pushed tax cuts lead to increased fees at the state level and frequently this leads to average Americans having to pay more in overall taxes and fees to the government than they would've paid without the tax cuts.

Because states usually have balanced-budget amendments, any cuts to taxes must be offset. Years of austerity-like measures in the states have left governors and legislatures little to cut. This means that conservatives at the state level are forced to raise fees for various services that their citizens partake of in order to keep the budget balanced. But to the taxpayer, there is absolutely no difference between a "tax" and a "fee," in the end, they still have less money. And when conservatives brag about cutting taxes while raising fees, they are lying to the public.

This last option has proven appeal with conservative politicians because they can say, with only technical accuracy, that they didn't raise your taxes. Across the country, state and local governments are squeezing ordinary people for every penny they can lay their hands on, and the burden these fee increases can put on ordinary families is often significant. Make no mistake: these fees are completely regressive -- it costs a billionaire the same amount to renew his or her driver's license as it does a pauper.

There isn't much in the way of 50-state data on fees for services. But whether you know it or not, significant fee hikes are nickle and dime-ing you pretty much wherever you might live. USA Today reported that, across the country, “state and local governments are turning to user fees to raise quick cash — from increases on hunting licenses to fees for enrolling in the Little League. One town is considering charging accident victims who need to be extricated from their cars.”

The end of the first paragraph above is the key -- these fees are regressive. This is another example of conservatives shifting the costs of government downward, making those least able to afford to pay for government pay for a bigger and bigger share, despite getting less and less in return.


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