I Work for the Government

shackledMy name is Ronn Torossian and I work for the government.  Avid readers of Front Page Magazine may have thought I was a public relations firm owner and author, however, I work for the government more than I work for anyone else.  This week, I was shocked when my accountant provided me with 2013 tax estimates showing that as a New York City resident, my effective tax rate will be 55 percent. What you read is correct, 55 percent of the year I work for the American government!

That being said, unlike most other government employees, I don’t have a guaranteed pension, don’t work plush hours of 9-to-5 with four weeks guaranteed vacation, actually have to be held accountable for what I do, assume responsibility for the employment of over 100 people, balance a budget…and work hard.

Let’s review where my astounding 55 percent taxes went. Nineteen percent of the federal government’s budget pays for “defense and security-related international activities,” which basically can be translated as ensuring that our country provides for despots and dictators while making sure no one harms Iran’s precious nuclear weapons. Of course, it will also pay to create havoc in the Middle East – none of which is in America’s interest. Twenty-two percent of the federal government’s budget pays for Social Security, which likely won’t exist when it’s my turn to depend on it.

Large percentages of my federal taxes go for “Three health insurance programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),” which is also supplemented by that broken program called ObamaCare (although unlike a certain government website, the website for my agency actually works). My family and my employees’ healthcare is a tremendous expense, and every time we do anything at the doctor’s we pay deductibles. Six percent of the federal taxes I pay go to pay interest on the national debt – since, unlike entrepreneurs, the government doesn’t actually need to balance a checkbook.

Top that off with the fact that New York State is the worst state in America to do business according to the “Small Business Survival Index” by the Tax Foundation. A Mercatus Center report said New York, NY has “the highest taxes in the country: three and a half standard deviations above the national mean.”  Our Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, raised rates to 8.82% in 2011, while New York City and state’s combined top tax rate is currently 12.70%. There is also an additional “unincorporated business tax” (UBT) of 4% on pass-through entities and sole proprietorships, which puts the rate at 16.70%. All these taxes – and what do we get?

From housing to all services, everything – EVERYTHING – is expensive.  Our new Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks we aren’t paying enough, and in classic socialist language speaks of “two cities” where of course the successful should be penalized. New York City public schools are so overcrowded that many of us choose private schools to ensure our children receive a quality education. As an employer, I pay significant annual taxes to the MTA, a tax called the metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax (MCTMT) – yet still pay full fare when I take the subway. Of course, the train regularly breaks down or has some sort of issue.

Naturally, even though I volunteer 55 percent of my year for the government, the local, state and federal governments are all operating at a deficit. I lie – its more than 55 percent, for as an entrepreneur, we pay payroll taxes, workers compensation, NYC commercial rent taxes, payroll tax, employees who go on jury duty and countless other taxes I may not even be aware of.

The Vice President of this country, Joe Biden has said that paying higher taxes is the “patriotic thing to do” and I could not disagree with the man any stronger. There is nothing redeeming about these taxes and I find them to be despicable.

As an entrepreneur who created my own success and hundreds of jobs, my duty is not to work 55 percent of the year so I can pay taxes. It is un-American and not something our forefathers would have ever envisioned.

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  • GGallman

    So, you are at 55% SLAVE. (not counting prohibitions of what you are not allowed to do with the other >45%).
    According to the author to whom Dr. Walter E.Williams responded:
    “Negative Freedom” is me not REQUIRED to give the fruit of my labor to someone else.
    And “Positive Freedom” DOES REQUIRE me to give the fruit of my labor to someone else.
    And if I am REQUIRED to give 100% of the fruit of my labor to someone else, it is called SLAVERY!
    SO, 100% “Positive Freedom” would be 100% SLAVERY!
    Slavery is most often considered to be the opposite of FREEDOM and LIBERTY.
    However, the statist/liberal/progressive MASTERMINDS promote “Positive Freedom”.
    Then is SLAVERY a good thing? What percent of slavery is acceptable?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    55% socialist – and the left in New York City (including the Mayor) say this is not socialist enough. If a small business person has to pay more than half their money to the government (and obey thousands of pages of regulations) it makes no sense to talk of “capitalism” any more.

  • Stan D Mute

    The true number is MUCH higher than 55%. Consider that the expense of a tax burden is packaged with other business costs such as raw materials, building costs, energy, and payroll. This total cost then is factored into pricing. So some considerable part of every good and service you purchase, over and considerably above the visible sales tax, is also tax which is merely passed down to you as the consumer. Also, every penny of debt issued by government is merely a deferred tax. And when the government prints money, “QE”, that resulting inflation is also a tax. I would be shocked if an upper middle class business and homeowner doesn’t pay less than 70% in total tax to all levels of government.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    Yes, its wrong for Ronn Torrossian, or anyone else that earns an honest living, to have to pay 55% of their income to the government. Sir, have you considered moving to Florida or Texas? No state income tax in either place. The Heritage Foundation, in a 2012 study, rated New York as dead last among the 50 states, in personal and economic freedom.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      Florida reaches into your wallet at every turn. It starts with reduced pay rates nicknamed the “Sunshine Tax”. This basically means “you should be so happy that you get to live in Florida so you must be willing to be paid less”. Some of these “no state taxes” states also charge hefty impact fees when you bring in a vehicle from another state. Others have an array of tricks they play on entrepreneurs. Do some homework or you can become trapped in one of these fiscal black holes.

      • TheOrdinaryMan

        What about North and South Dakota, or Tennessee? They are in the top 10 in the Heritage study. I’m not going anywhere–I don’t need to do “some homework,” thanks. And most any state charges a “road usage tax” for bringing in a vehicle from another state, if you’ve owned the car for less than one year–not what Torossian is talking about.

  • truth132

    Indeed Torossian is writing the truth about life in a socialist nation today called America.

  • Christopher Riddle

    Who was the CEO of GM who FINALLY admitted that he didn’t run a “Car Company”;he ran a “Health Insurance”dispensary????????????????????

  • radicalrepublican

    I share all of the author’s suffering and concerns with my business. I bet he gets audited very soon….. shoulda stayed anonymous!