I decided to take a closer look at my phone bill today. The total of the bill was $57.82. Of that, $40.74 was for the actual telephone service; the remaining $17.08 was taxes, stipends, and other government fees. You could surmise that about 29.5% of the cost of my telephone service went to the government in the form of taxes.
Of course, if you did that, you’d be wrong. It’s actually much worse (for you, not for the government).
The $57.82 I use to pay my phone bill is money that I earned and paid taxes on. As a resident of New York City (by many calculations the most-taxed place in the country), I take home about 75 cents for every dollar earned. To take home the $57.82 to pay my phone bill, I have to earn $77.09.
The real cost of my phone bill is $77.09, of which $36.35 was paid in taxes. In other words, 47% of my earnings that go towards paying my phone bill get redirected to the government.
When I get my cell phone bill, I’ll do a similar analysis. I’m not looking forward to it — it might be quite depressing.