Who Taxes Who, Anyway?

Benjamin Franklin wrote this in 1758:

“Friends, says he, and neighbors, the taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly, and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement…. ” ‘An old man’ quoted in “The Way to Wealth”

Our own idleness, pride, and folly account for the lion’s share of the real taxes we pay, the real loss to our income–government a far fourth. Yet it is government only that most of us complain about.