Since tax day is rapidly approaching and how much you paid affects your own personal economy, I thought I'd discuss my observations of the effects of the economy in my own neighborhood. What does this have to do with tax day you ask? Well because the more taxes you paid last year, the less disposable income you had to save, pay off debt, or spend, which affects your own personal economy. And if you didn't pay any taxes, perhaps your family didn't earn enough to pay which may be abnormal for your family, which may have made your own personal economy very very tight.
So every holiday around my neighborhood you can walk through or drive through the various streets and see all kinds of decorations out in the yard. Easter is no exception. The one that floored me was the year I saw Valentines decorations out at one or two houses. Not everyone decorates their yard, but a few handfuls do including some of our neighbors surrounding us. Yesterday in really hit me that no one has decorated for Easter. Usually a few people have some kind of blow up monstrous easter bunny out in their yard with who knows what else.
You may be thinking what I was thinking at first, they just didn't put out their decorations from last year. Maybe they got lazy. My father was quick to point out that most of these people don't store their decorations, they have garage sales all spring and summer to get rid of all their crap so they can buy new crap for the next holiday. You might be able to conclude from that statement that our household doesn't waste money to put crap outside in the yard for every holiday. But those that do are more than welcome to. I just hope they aren't going into debt for it or already drowning in debt.
That may not seem like much, and to be honest Texas is one of the better places to be during this economic slowdown. But there are random foreclosures around here and there are people getting layed off. But Dell is always laying people off so you know you will get it if you don't leave first. There are jobs to be had here and it's not nearly the painful blow that some states are experiencing. Nonetheless, you do see people pinching their pennies and restraining their spending. Which most probably should have been doing all along.
So how do you see the economy affecting your neighborhood, office, or city? Do you think tax policies increasing taxes on income or goods and services that you consume will help your personal economic situation? Will that help you and your neighbors pay their mortgage, pay off their credit cards, or perhaps buy their next meal? Will it help employers add a job that perhaps you or your neighbor would love to have? Remember tax day isn't about refunds, it's about all the hard earned money that the government takes from hard working people to spend as they see fit. I'm not saying all functions of the government are bad. But how much is too much? What percentage did you end up paying? Are you ok with it? Are you ok with your employer's taxes going up? What if that means he has to let one person go as a result? Are you ok if that person is you?
There are alternatives to current tax policy, but that includes taking power away from the government and putting it back in the hands of the people. How do you feel about that? Would you just prefer the government take care of all your wants and the loss of your power and money? or would you prefer they not have as much power and you have more money?
Of course I support the Fair Tax at this point. But their are other solutions out there that I would be ok with. You can't just whine and complain about tax policy. You have to have a plan you can support. Then you have to nag your representatives and let them know what you support and what you want them to support. Let them know current policies are unacceptable to you and commit to voting them out of office if they support them.