Taxes and hidden fees and poor whittled us

Taxes and hidden fees: Wheddle me this. 

Gotcha Capitalism is a new book by Bob Sullivan, author of MSNBC.com’s Red Tape Chronicles, in which he speaks about the little hidden fees that infest our capitalist system.  I brought up that book in a conversation with a friend of mine.  I was railing against hidden fees in my household bills when my friend said, “Our government has been doing that for years.”  

My friend was right.  How could we blame the businesses that serve us if those businesses were taught by our government how to wheedle their way into our pocketbooks.

On the federal level we have income tax, social security and medicare taxes (social taxes); we have sin taxes, we have capital gains taxes, we have estate (death) taxes.   I could go on but the state taxes are just as onerous.  There is income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, sin taxes, fuel taxes, and they just keep going on and on. Everywhere you turn there is a tax, hidden tax, or a fee.

A little bit here and a little bit there doesn’t seem too “taxing” but those hidden fees add up fast.  I offer an example:

I thought the social function was for charity.  So, beyond the cost of the ticket,  I wanted to make sure the valets were tipped. $5 in and $5 out for $10 total.  I also planned for the coat check.  $2 per coat, 2 coats, $4.  The my planning started to fall apart.  The dinner was served by individual table waiters; 15% of ticket or $10.  The drinks at the non-alcoholic bar were free but a $1 tip per drink was recommended.  $4 in tips for 4-4 oz. sodas with ice; two before and two after the meal. 

The entertainment was included in the cost of the ticket but it was a charity event and so the entertainer asked for another “donation”.  $10 per person; $20 total.  Total outgo for the night, not including the ticket: $48.   Total expected: $15.  You can do the math.  Can we say “Gotcha Charity”?

So, yesterday’s news bought by another article, “Why hidden fees are a big deal” by Bob Sullivan, in which Bob says Hidden fees are so drastic now that they may even be screwing with the national inflation rate.”  AH HA!  Another silly tax upon our money!  They really add up quick.

The thought strikes me… (Ouch!  Not that way.  … Good friends are hard to come by.)  I shall call these little whittles to our income a “wheedle” fee; a fee for allowing those that wheddle to continue to wheddle.  Those Whascally Wabbits are wheddling us again!  Poor whittled us.

If you want to know how to rid yourself of some of the wheddling fees, Bob’s book might be a great place to start. 

©2008 Patrick Lalande All Rights Reserved
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