Each month we feature the story of a peaceful person who had half of his entire life’s production taken from him against his will and by force. These people are not African slaves from the nineteenth century, they are modern slaves who live next door to you today.
You likely have seen a chart from the US Treasury that breaks down the federal budget showing where tax dollars go. Here’s an example:
One way of looking at this chart is to divide one tax dollar paid into the various categories and declare that each American’s dollar paid six cents toward interest on the debt and nineteen cents toward defense and so on. That is mathematically valid. But there is another equally valid way to look at how taxes get paid. We could assign individual taxpayers to pay segments of the budget. In fact, since the segments represent astronomically huge amounts of money it’s also fair to say one person’s lifetime of taxes pay just a tiny portion in one category. Such a person is our Slave of the Month.
Karl Lintzski of Rochester, New Hampshire. Karl was born in 1939 in Rochester and spent his entire life living in the state. His dad was killed in France during WWII and Karl’s family had a tough time getting through the difficult years that followed. Karl’s uncle took him under his wing and taught him the trade of auto mechanics. He left school at sixteen and worked at his uncle’s garage doing oil changes and other light duties. In his mid twenties he was making $5,000 per year.
He married in 1966 and within ten years had a family of three children. By that time he was the service manager at a large auto service center and was earning $22,000 per year. Karl and his wife always struggled with money. Their kids had to learn to go without luxuries other kids seemed to have. They never went to camp or played organized sports because of the expense. When Karl’s mother died he wished he could provide her with a beautiful funeral but the money just wasn’t there. His two daughters needed orthodontic braces but never got them. He never took his wife on a fancy vacation or even bought her a lavish gift.
Throughout all those years Karl paid his taxes diligently, even proudly. And it wasn’t just income taxes; he paid employee taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes on every gallon of gas used in his lifetime, import taxes on the one new car he bought with a loan. He paid taxes on every hamburger he ate, on every case of beer, on every haircut and pair of jeans. He paid his property taxes and the school tax and the half dozen taxes listed on his phone bill. He paid the taxes on the flight he took to Tampa to his uncle’s funeral. He paid the environmental taxes on the tires he bought and the import taxes on the televisions he bought.
Karl could never afford to retire and died at work one Monday at the age of seventy two. Over his long working career Karl managed to generate a total income of $1,621,600. His federal, state, municipal, local and excise taxes, combined with the losses through currency inflation confiscated 50% of his life’s work to support the government, meaning he and his family had $810,801 taken from them.
And what was Karl’s lifetime of tax money used for?
In 2011 the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority gave a subsidy to the Anheuser-Busch company, owned by a Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate, valued at over $100 billion. The subsidy was for twelve million taxpayer dollars and Karl’s lifetime of forced servitude and deprivation was used to pay 6.75% of the total gift given to the billion-dollar beverage company. Fifteen other New Hampshire tax slaves also contributed a lifetime of labor to the company’s subsidy.
Karl Lintzski, lifetime tax slave, R.I.P.
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