The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.







Ashley's Avenue

You're Being Robbed Blind
By your government.

by Ashley Murphy

Money. Just a word. It shouldn't mean much. But it does. Poverty. Depression. Entitlement. All are other words I would associate with money. Its the root of all evil. Always has been. It determines how you live, and essentially, how you die. So why does the government find it necessary to keep taking it all from me?

The purpose of the majority of people in this country work for a living. Meaning they work to pay their bills. Whether that be house, car, insurance, credit card, vacation, etc...The list goes on and on.

That was my reason for getting a job. I was 16. My first car was a hand-me-down, 1986 Camaro. It was paid of, obviously, so I didn't require car payments. My parents graciously paid for the insurance, as I was still in high school and working only part-time at minimum wage. I did, however, pay for my own gas. I don't remember what the tax rates or my pay rate was at the time, but figure an estimate of $130 per week after taxes were taken out. Gas was considerably cheaper at the time, also, and I was only going from school to work to home. After gas and a portion of each paycheck going into a savings account, that left me with about $90 a week that I could spend on me time and friend time. How I wish to be a kid again, only working part-time and still having that kind of money left over.

Today, I work 40 hours a week, have the average amount of bills someone my age would have (except a house or apartment, because I'm too broke to afford it) and I barely live paycheck to paycheck. My savings account is slowly depleting because I don't have enough money every week to cover what I owe to various institutions. But, according to the government, I make too much money for their assistance. Assistance that I pay to them every week out of MY hard earned paycheck. Money that can't be used toward me because half of it is being passed out to people who are too lazy to get off their butt and go to work.

The government takes $91 per week, every week from me. They rob us all blind, but it's considered constitutional because it's our responsibility to keep our country afloat. I get it. To an extent.

These numbers are approximates: $33 Federal Tax; $30 Social Security; $8 Medicare; and $20 Georgia State Tax. Per week.

Essentially, I'm paying double in Federal Tax than what I believe is a fair amount. I'm paying Social Security and Medicare to people I don't even know when that money should be put toward my retirement, not theirs. And, I'm paying a state tax to a state I don't even freaking live in!

After those preposterous amounts are removed and money toward my bills are set aside, I have $98.25 left to get me through the week. I don't have any comfort room. I can't put part of that money into a savings account, because it's just going to come right back out when the funds start dwindling. I constantly stay stressed and I'm often in a bad mood trying to deal with this every week.

As far as the Georgia State Tax, they take approximately $1100 from me per year. Why?! I don't live here. The company I work for moved from TN to GA. Georgia should have no right to my money.

Social Security and Medicare....why am I responsible?! The Social Security Act wasn't implemented until 1935. Which basically required everyone to pay a portion of their check into a big pool that could be used by those 65 and older when they retired. Even though Medicare is a separate program, it works basically the same way. I understand that before the Act was in place, elderly responsibility fell to states, towns or relatives, but I just don't see how this was the best solution. My money you are taking away from me should be in place for me. Not the rest of the country. It's been forecasted that by the time I'm of retirement age, there won't be any money left in Social Security anyway because it's being depleted too fast. Why not do away with the program and require a minimum percentage of every person's check come out and be placed in an individual account for their future? This account could have deposits, but is banned from withdrawals until age/retirement guidelines are met. That way, money being taken from MY check will still be MY money and helping to benefit ME and MY future.

I may sound selfish, but sit down and figure how much money the government takes from you and the unsightly way they are throwing it all down the drain and leaving you drowning in their waste, then you may see things a little differently, too.

The Federal Income Tax. Why is it so high? There are over 315 million people in this country and at least half pay some sort of tax...I hope. I could be reaching a bit on that. But if you have half of that number paying at least $1000 per year in income tax, that comes to $157,500,000,000. That's $157.5 BILLION! Obviously, this is me just throwing numbers around, but if I really am in the ball park, then why?! That would be roughly 50% of hardworking Americans paying for 50% of this country that doesn't have a job.

I know it's not that simple. I'm not that stupid. Schools, colleges, states and towns rely on this money to provide for its citizens. But I don't believe they need to take that much money from me every week. Some of these federally funded programs need to be regulated and limited. I understand there are individuals and families out there that require the assistance of WIC, Welfare or Disability, but there's a fine line between someone sincerely needing these services and someone taking advantage and living off the government and tax payer's backs.

The last thing this country needs is more regulating, but something needs to be done! Put more money back into the pockets of those actually working and doing something to better their lives and their country.

I shouldn't have to give up necessities in my life and live a life I'm ashamed of and less than what I deserve because the government thinks my money needs to be spent helping lazy, system abusing people in this country. There are people living off the government that have it better than I do. All while they sit happily on their backsides just waiting for the next check to come in.

And why should my money be put into a pool and divided up among random strangers in a program that won't even be around to help me when I'm of retirement age? It's basically robbery. I will never see that money ever again.

This country needs to get their priorities straight. On so many different levels.


Ashley Murphy
People News Assitant Editor

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