Walking through the aisle of the local grocery store, I was in shock and awe. In each section of the grocery, I noticed specific items that I routinely purchase that are now at least 100% more expensive than last year. Overall, the cost of energy is up 100% due to regulations and host of other problems. Energy costs affects everything including women’s health products, food, prescription drugs, and children’s toothpaste. [i]
The items that are up 100% have created a situation where the city, state and federal taxes are also up 100% or more on sales or household items. [ii] The average family could be paying up to an extra $50-100 dollars a week in state, city and federal taxes.
What does this mean? If you received a 3% raise this year, you are already losing money. You would have needed an 8% raise just to keep up with paying your bills.
If you paid $35 dollars to gas up your car last year and you are now paying $70 dollars to fill up, and then you are losing another $120 per month to new expenses. Also, we are all paying special taxes and fees on cellphone services, tax on cable TV; plus additional taxes on beverages, taxes on tampons, taxes on tobacco, and much more.
The average working American is getting a “shake down” at every turn. Further, your airline ticket tax can run anywhere from 5% to 50% of what you pay. [iii] For example, about 35% of the cost of a ticket from New York to the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada goes to taxes.
If you look at your monthly bills, you will see all of the other hidden taxes and fees on Internet services, water service, gas service and electricity.
At the end of the day, we are all paying taxes on the value of our cars, real estate, insurance, and even online purchases. Real estate taxes and insurance costs are baked into the price you pay for rent.
Prices on essential items are up extensively this year, as are the taxes are up on almost everything you buy.
Here's a list of the worst offenders:
- Used Cars — up 45% [iv]
- Credit Card Interest Rates [v] and Fees [vi]
- Airline Tickets — up 33% [vii]
- Fuel Oil — 59%
- Gasoline and Diesel — up over 100% [viii]
- Coffee —up 60% [ix] and many grocery brands are — up %100 percent.
- Car Rental —up 39%
- Heating Coal — up 241% [x]
- 30-Year Mortgage Rates up around: a 57% increase, from about 3.5% — up to 5.5%
- Medical Supplies
- Egg commodity prices are — up 160% [xi]
In Forbes[xii] and on government websites [xiii], published prices, across the board for a wide variety of goods, are also up dramatically in the last 12 months. Some of these essentials are up a “gut wrenching” (50-100%.)
- Utility gas services — 22.7% increase.
- Steak— up 24% [xiv]
- Furniture and bedding —15% increase.
- Household cleaning products — 10.1% increase.
- Pork —up 20%
- Lithium for batteries — up 400% [xv]
- The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased on average 8.3 % over the last 12 months on everything else you need.
As for taxes on fuel and energy, Pennsylvania's gas tax rate is highest at 58.7 cents per gallon, followed by California (55.22 cents per gallon) and Washington (49.4 cpg). So when you add your U.S. federal gas tax of 18 cents plus a Pennsylvania state tax of 0.58 cents, it equals a whopping 78 cents per gallon.
You multiply that times 15 gallons per week, and you have about $12 per week in taxes on individual drivers and $48-$100 per month in gasoline tax on a hard-working couple in the U.S. [xvi] To make things worse, the average credit card APR was around 16%, but rate increases may easily push the average credit card interest rate over 18%. [xvii] [xviii]
While the wealthy in New York and California are able to deduct much of their SALT Taxes or “State and Local Taxes” on their federal tax filings, the middle class, union members, working folks, women and minorities are typically the people that hit hardest by inflationary taxes at the state and city levels. [xix]
When you add it all up, and working family might pay between $400-1000 dollars per month [xx] in taxes to the city, state and federal government [xxi], and this number has gone up radically in just 12 months. [xxii]
In sum, higher lending rates, expensive energy, international conflict — and inflation — are all, in combination, hitting the working family and the most vulnerable the hardest. [xxiii]
George Mentz JD MBA CILS is a CWM Chartered Wealth Manager ®, global speaker - educator, tax-economist, international lawyer and CEO of the GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management ®. The GAFM is an ESQ EU accredited graduate body that offers certification training in 150+ nations under ISO 21001 and ISO 9001 standards. Mentz is also an award winning author and graduate law professor of wealth management in the USA.
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