A few weeks ago raises came out at my company (yay happy raise time!) which is always exciting, not because I'm really all that motivated by money, but more because it's a sign of what I mean to them, you know? For those of you not in the workforce yet, let me explain this: raises are expressed in percentages, and slight percentage differences mean everything. A 2% raise means they don't love you, so to speak. 3% is basic cost of living, and when times were tough that's usually what we'd get. It goes up from there... 10% is a glamorous wonderful raise that hardly anyone gets, 15-20% is only possible if you're a pillaging CEO.
SO my first paycheck at the new scale came out and it was exciting but when I looked at my net pay, it wasn't quite what I'd expected. Then I noticed that the government was taking out what I'd call an assload of money... I mean, they always have, but I try not to look at it, so when I did I was shocked. Out of curiosity, I got out my paycheck from two weeks ago and did some comparisons. I found the difference between my gross amounts, and divided that from the lower number, and found my raise percentage, which was just what my company said it'd be... not the 10% glamor level, but better than the 3% crap level... really better than I've ever done. The year of working saturdays, taking on projects that no one else wanted, and getting stuff done on time when no one thought I could paid off, I got A Good Raise.
Then I looked at the total tax amounts between the two paychecks and did the same thing... found the difference, divided by the first amount, and you know what? The government got a 4% better raise than I did.
Okay yeah I know what you're saying... I'm not starving, I have what I need, I make more than a lot of Americans, I can be in a higher tax bracket, but in another way it BLOWS knowing that all my hard work over the past year helped my government more than it helped me (4% more, in fact!). Who am I working for here, anyway? Besides, I give to charities... good ones, too, ones that don't waste money or do nearly as much dumb shit as the government does. But I'll never be able to give anywhere near as much to them as what I pay in taxes because it's positively insane. The whole system is positively insane... blown out of control, bloated, hopeless, and painful to watch.
so that's why even though I admit the idea of government is nice for some things, I really usually wish they'd just go away and leave me the hell alone. a lot of people would be a lot better off.