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hehe, you took some time studying me synchronicity! Unfortunately, I make far less than your deduction. I count all taxes in that figure.. utilities, property, both halves of payroll taxes (it is being spent by my employer for my labor.. just that I never see it).

Bummer on the income, although I kinda figured it was high, but also realized it would make the point that even if you are a high AGI taxpayer, the taxes paid on some of these items is really really small. Not that this justifies them.

Yes, I did forget to gross up the FICA taxes. Your property taxes are probably kinda high (they're high in Illinois as we have low income taxes, wouldn't be surprised to find the same thing in Florida), but then there's the deduction issue for income purposes. You might spend less in taxes than you think. Not that it's much solace.

Sales tax is 7% in my county although food/meds are not taxed and that is kind of nice.

Ours are between 8%-8.75%, the latter number is what gets charged downtown.

When I lived in Portland, we had zero sales tax. I liked that.

I think I have every right (heck, I'll go so far to say even a duty) to point out immoral and unjust government expenditures. It is just flat out wrong and I feel personally violated and would like to see my "representatives" called on it.

I'm not disgareeing with you. I think there are a lot of ridiculous government expenditures, although I don't want to get into what anyone thinks is or isn't, as this will take this thread even more OT.

It's just that the place to really look is at the big-ticket items. If there's, say, a billion dollar spending bill, 1% pork is ten million bucks. That's an awful lot of basket-weaving.

To try and bring this back to a FIRE topic: I've known lots of people who clip 25 and 50 cent coupons, or aggressively shop for clothes at various stores, but still complain that they "have no money", in spite of their efforts. What they forget to mention is that, even though they used a 50 cent coupon at the grocery store, they blew 80 bucks last week eating out at restaurants. Or that their clothes may have been a "good deal", but they already have a closet full of clothes.

And don't even start trying to explain how much money they spend a year on credit card interest.

FWIW, I am a civil servant and never forget where my office's budget (and my paycheck) comes from and I do my best to see that the taxpayers' are not screwed on my watch -as far as my position and authority allow me to do so. I take that part of my job very seriously and think our political leadership should do the same.

From your mouth to God's ears. Both sides of the aisle are guilty on this. Then again, why should we expect or representatives to be different than us? It's tough enough to stay out of the red with our own money, why should it be easier with OPM?

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