Every day, ten men go out for beer and their bill comes to $100. They agreed to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, which goes something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers, he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. What happens to the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. ‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’ declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, ‘But he got $10!’ ‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’ ‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!’
‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’ The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered they didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
This Saturday, Bob Condon will spin records upstairs in the Vets Hall. The event will start at 8:30 and features 50’s and 60’s sock hop music. Dressing the part is optional. Healing prayers and get well wishes to John Magoto, Logan Moody, Cecilia Subler, Jim Copeland, Rochelle Schlechty, Barb Lavy, Esther Bulcher, John Subler, Linus Monnin, Tom Henry, Red Kremer, and all that are in need. And really aren’t we all in need at some time or another?
Happy Birthday wishes to Jessica Smith, Betty Pothast, Sarah Rhoades, Linda Grisez, Mary (Legg’s) Francis, Jacob Grow, Christina Bowersock, Leigh Fletcher, Matt Mangen, Wyatt Murphy, Roger Bey, Julie Strait, Scott Langston, Ashley Cochran, Joshua Paulus, Bill Pohlman, Irene Stonebraker, Elaine Marshall, Scott Mumaw, and Mike Fourman. Happy anniversary wishes to Cindy and Jeff Langston (25) Deb and Les Ward (25), Phyllis and Ed Collins, Rosie and Dean Derr, Barb and Ray Lavy (58) and Naomi and Felix (Junior) Simmons (66).
Welcome Elijah Jude Miller who was born this week to Laura and Chris Miller. Paternal Grandparents are Shannon and Chad Grant. And welcome to Natalie Marie Hite born this week to Ellen and Nathaniel Hite. Maternal Grandparents are Linda and Dennis Seidel. Congratulations! Hello to Betty Grimes, Shiela Coffield, Linda Ahrens, Patricia Wilkey, Mark Branson, Chris Lennon, Esther and Woody Woodworth, Scarlet Francis, Rosie Koverman and Don Pothast.
My heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of Stacy Mortensen, Gary Shafer, James Weber, Lloyd Sellers, Rita McGreevy, Othmar Homan, Tom Foley Robert Ambos and also remembering the lives of Mary Quellhorst, Shirley Ertel-Nicodemus, John P. Simons, Tom Meiring, Mary Biggs, Anna Subler, Betty Anthony, Delores Leugers, Scott Shappie, Ruth Goubeaux, Pat Perin, Leah Slyder and Lenora Rogers.
“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” ~Albert Einstein
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” ~Ronald Reagan
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.