Consider for a moment that math can be magically manipulated.
The Ancient Greeks, like Pythagoras, are the first believed to have studied this topic in detail. This was in approximately 600 BC.
However, preceding them by centuries were the Babylonians and Egyptians, who figured out you can do a lot with numbers.
Guess what they used these numbers for?
If you guessed it was for calculating and figuring out what the population owed in taxes, you would be correct.
Some things never change.
Inject the shell games played today by our political officials and you have a drama that could run on prime time.
Not only do we pay income tax but a host of other taxes that are cleverly included in almost everything. From a gallon of gas at 33 cents per gallon to user fees for our car license tags and driver license renewal.
At last count there are 97 State and Federal taxes that are attached to every item we buy, service we receive or property we own.
Then there are the bonds we approve, which create everything from schools to road repairs.
These are separate from our “regular” taxes.
If legislators could figure out a way to tax oxygen, we would all be wearing meter masks.
And so, it continues at every level of government.
Most Bills being presented in Sacramento are revenue-enhancing proposals to take another bite from our paycheck. These Bills and Bonds are usually cloaked in likeable language such as “…to help the underserved, homeless, crippled children, disabled veterans and other projects deemed important to the community welfare.”
When reviewing any of these proposals, check two things: The math and the language.
Bonds are a tax. They must be repaid by taxpayers and they magically do not have to show up on the State’s balance sheet.
Politicians advertise a Bond as borrowing and not a new tax. Hmmm…who is going to pay that Bond?
Look for the weasel clause “and other projects, services or benefits…”
California has now bonded itself to debt.
Our debt is estimated at $1.3 to $1.7 trillion owed…by us. That number is not in our calculators. This estimate is also estimated to be low since we don’t really know for certain.
We have the highest state tax in the Country (13%) followed by Oregon at 9.9% (but they have no sales tax) yet, we are always out of money and these are good times.
Headlines have told us California finished last year with a $6 billion surplus.
Considering our debt, that’s like having $6 left over after buying a $200 dinner.
The debt of our State and City is magically and methodically manipulated in a manner to make mountains into molehills.
See…math is magic.