What does the tooth fairy and the temporary stamp tax have in common? They are both imaginary of course.
The US postal service is going to raise stamps 3 cents –TEMPORARILY. They promise it will exist for no longer than two years, just until they recoup $2.8 billion in losses. It is in effect, a tax.
It is a little confusing as to how it will cover the money they have lost. The postal service lost $5 billion for the fiscal year ending September 30 2013. Prior to last year, they reported about $15.9 billion in losses a year.
The $2.8 billion will not cover the losses.
There is also the fact that temporary taxes are rarely temporary.
Take the following taxes as examples.
There was the 1936 Johnstown flood tax that was supposed to expire in 1937. It was meant to cover flood damage in Pennsylvania but the tax continues to this day. It does not cover floods, it goes to the general fund for the use of politicians.
Then there is the one-time cigarette tax which was meant to increase federal revenue during the Civil War and was made permanent in 1951. It’s an ever-growing piggy bank for politicians.
Who can forget the state sales taxes. They were supposed to be temporary. In 2009, NYS Governor Patterson added a temporary personal income tax surcharge for higher-income taxpayers. That isn’t going anywhere.
The alternative minimum was supposed to be temporary to balance the federal budget. It was supposed to affect higher-income wage earners but now affects the middle class.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the 1916 estate and gift taxes implemented only during wartime in 1797, 1862, and 1898 and repealed. These taxes were enacted again in 1916 and never repealed.
Don’t even get me started on the gasoline tax.
Obamacare is replete with taxes and fees (fees are taxes) that will hit the middle class and will serve as ATM’s for Congress who will be able to raise them without going back to the people for approval. Once they are in, they are in.
That gets me back to how temporary this will be since Congress controls the post office which has been losing ground since the Internet came to be.
The 3 cent increase will never go away. It’s really a form of taxation without representation.
Instead of Congress streamlining the post office and possibly alienating some people, they will just find a way to squeeze more money out of us. Personally, I’m going to pay my bills electronically from now on. It’s cheaper than buying stamps.