“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”
Today is the traditional tax day, the day any unpaid personal income tax is due. Here’s the breakdown of revenue, by source:
Individual Income Tax 48% $1.6 trillion Roughly $7,600 per person over 18.
Corporate Tax 9% $0.3 trillion
Payroll Taxes (Social Sec.) 35% $1.1 trillion Roughly $5,300 (50% paid by employers)
All Other 8% $0.3 trillion
Total 100% $3.3 trillion
I am not a tax accountant, but I did spend a whole year in graduate study tax courses. It is surprising to find that the typical stereotype of who pays the taxes in the US is quite misleading. Many unwittingly say that the rich don’t pay taxes. Here is the data:
Top 1% of returns 39% of all income taxes paid
Top 5% 60%
Top 10% 71%
Top 25% 87%
Top 50% 97%
Anyway, none of this really matters in the big perspective. It is God who provides. It is also God who determines our kings who tax us.
Deuteronomy 8:17-19 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
1 Peter 2:13-14, 17 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good…. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Certainly, it is our prerogative to encourage our governing authorities, in a republic such as ours, to spend money wisely. However, we have no excuse to complain that we have taxes to pay. It would seem that Jesus didn’t give us that option. If I may, let me make a recommendation. If you decide to debate socio-economics, please take some time to learn a little bit about it. It only shows ignorance when people say that the “other” people aren’t paying their fair share. Look instead on the spending side of the equation. Our politicians, all of them, are inconsiderate of the purse – past the point of recklessness and into careless abandon. Remember the lesson of the talents. Jesus rewarded the ones who used their money wisely. He also took it away from the one who spent it foolishly. Remember also, that treasures are not the accumulation of money.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Father, thank you for all your blessings. Let us be mindful stewards of all the gifts you have given us. Amen.