Ever wonder why you have less money to spend? That it seems like every time you go to the grocery store, you get a whole lot less for a whole lot more? Part of the reason is inflation. The way the government accounts for inflation these days kind of fudges the numbers; and gasoline don’t count in the same figures anymore.
Convenient right? But on the other side of the equation, it may seem like you’re paying more for essentials because you don’t have as much available cash to spend. According to this week’s report by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, you are paying more in taxes than you are for food. In fact, since 2013, you have seen an average increase of 41.13% in taxes.
The report talks about spending in terms of “consumer units,” which means families. The average American ‘food expenditures increased by $601 from $6,602 in 2013 to $7,203 in 2016. Food expenditures were about 14% of the average American’s income. The BLS’s Average Annual Expenditures for American Consumer Units report indicates that the average American family paid $7,432 in taxes in 2013 compared with taxes of $10,489 in 2016, an increase of $3,057 or 41.13%.
It is no wonder why most of us are feeling “pinched” because we are actually in a tax vice that is squeezing tighter each year. The government has become a leviathan that wields tremendous and absolute power over the people.
In March 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a tax to be levied on documents from legal papers to newspapers to playing cards, ranging from a penny to about a dollar depending on the number of pages. By November 1, 1765, the day the Stamp Act was to officially go into effect, PBS says: “There was not a single stamp commissioner left in the colonies to collect the tax.”
They were tarred and feathered and ran out of town. This unfair taxation of a penny a penny, gave impetus to the American Revolution. The Founders believed that the government was not to intrude into people’s lives beyond providing safety and security—the true meaning of providing for the general welfare—for the people.
There are certain biblical principles being violated by such taxation. First and foremost, Exodus 20:3 says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Government is not God. In America, we have a choice in how we are governed. We can vote. Government should never be allowed to stand with the life or death power of a god-either over our ability to have food or in our health care decisions.
Exodus 20:17 says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”
Exodus 20:15 says, “Thou shalt not steal.”
A 41% increase in taxes over four years seems a lot like coveting and stealing to me.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!